By: Jason Lowenthal
ROSEMONT, Ill. July 2nd – After taking two of the first three games in the series, the USSSA Pride turned to ace Cat Osterman on short rest, trying to claim a series victory. Osterman pitched well, allowing just two runs on five hits. However, Michelle Gascoigne was just a bit better, tossing a complete game, two-hit shutout to help the Bandits earn a series split. Gascoigne earned her third win of the season by going the distance in a 2-0 Bandits victory.
“I think we came out after losing those first two games knowing that we had to play better softball,” Tammy Williams, who had the eventual game-winning RBI, said. “I think the Pride are a great team and we weren’t showing up how we needed to (in the first two games).”
In the opening inning, the Bandits got on the board in a hurry. Infield singles by Emily Allard (1-for-3, R, SB) and Amber Patton (1-for-3, SB) put runners on the corners and Williams (1-for-1, RBI, HBP) delivered a sacrifice fly to right-center to score the first run of the game.
“It was huge,” Williams said. “Allard set the tone by getting that infield hit and it really just gave us the momentum we needed. Anytime we score a run in the first inning off Cat (Osterman), it’s going to be a good day.”
Osterman and Gascoigne matched one another pitch-for-pitch the rest of the way, until an RBI-single courtesy of Taylor Edwards (1-for-3, RBI) in the sixth inning gave the Bandits an insurance run. Even through the middle part of the game when Osterman retired seven consecutive batters, Williams said the Bandits’ approach at the plate remained the same.
Gascoigne returned for the seventh and polished off a magnificent performance by retiring the Pride in order. A.J. Andrews provided an assist with a sensational full-extension grab in right-center for the second out of the inning. Gascoigne fanned Kelly Kretschman for the final out, her seventh strikeout of the ballgame.
With the loss, the Pride fell to 10-6 as Osterman was handed her second loss of the season who falls to 5-2.
The Pride will host the Pennsylvania Rebellion (5-13) in Maumee, Ohio July 3rd and 4th. First pitch for both nights is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
BOX SCORE LINK: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=90429
SCORE: Bandits 2, Pride 0
RECORDS: Bandits (15-6), Pride (10-6)
Tickets are available for purchase all season long on usssapride.com.
For all information about the USSSA Pride and the 2015 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) season, visit the team website www.usssapride.com and follow the Pride all season long on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
About USSSA Florida Pride:
The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
About the NPF:
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.
USSSA is headquartered in Osceola County, Florida. USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA.