Orlando, Fla. – The USSSA Florida Pride took on the Venezuela National Team for the third game in a five game series tonight, rounding out the contest with a victory of 2-0. The game, scheduled to begin at 7:05 pm was delayed on a warning of lightning but the weather quickly cleared and the first pitch was thrown at 7:20 pm.
Cat Osterman made her debut as starting pitcher for the Pride. Over the course of seven innings, she racked up a total of fourteen strikeouts, the first three being made consecutively in the first inning.
Leading off for the Pride was center fielder Caitlin Lowe who grounded out to first. Melissa Roth followed with a pop-up to left field to make it on base. A fly to center by Kelly Kretschman, and a ground out to short stop by recent Lowe’s Senior CLASS winner Charlotte Morgan marked the end of the first.
Osterman began the second inning by recording her fourth consecutive strike-out of the evening against Venezuela shortstop Denisse Fuenmayor. The first hit of the contest for Venezuela was a ground ball to center field by Rubilena Rojas, who earned the only hit for Venezuela in last night’s match up. Two more strikeouts by Osterman marked the end of the second.Tanya Callahan led the second inning for the Pride and struck out swinging, and was followed by a second out from Lappin with a fly out to second. Stephanie Best advanced to first on a walk, but was left on base at the end of the inning following a ground out to Venezuela pitcher Mariangee Bogado from Megan Willis.
The third inning saw strikeouts number seven and eight from Osterman who allowed only one hit in the inning from Venezuela catcher Cristina Rodriguez. Rodriguez, who hit first, marked the third out of the inning when she was caught stealing during Yaicey Sojo’s at bat.
The bottom of the third saw only one hit from the Pride, a double from designated player Melissa Roth. Three ground-outs rounded out the inning and left Roth on base at the close of the third.
Osterman marked her ninth strikeout in the top of the fourth by Cat, followed by a pop-out to first from Fuenmayor and a ground out to shortstop Lappin, finishing the inning for Venezuela.
The bottom of the fourth saw the first run of the night on a double by Best. A line drive out to right field, her hit brought Lappin, who had previously made it to first on a walk, all the way to home plate. A strike-out by Willis ended the inning and brought about the top of the fifth.
The top of the fifth saw Jessica Williams step onto the field at second base, replacing Best. Two quick ground outs to third from Pimeutel and Rodriguez, separated by Osterman’s tenth strikeout of the night against Geraldine Puertas, rounded out the inning.
After a groundout to the pitcher from Nicole Trimboli, Lowe advanced to second base on an error from left fielder Rubilena Rojas. A pass ball on Roth’s at bat moved Lowe to third. After a ground out from Roth, a ground ball to left field from Kretschman sent Lowe to the plate. A ground out to third from Morgan marked the third out of the inning.
The top of the sixth saw Osterman’s eleventh strikeout of the contest on Yusmary Perez, followed by two quick outs to shortstop Lauren Lappin.
Up first for the Pride was Tanya Callahan who led off with a double into the right center gap. Lappin’s following ground-out to shortstop advanced Callahan to third base, but she was left stranded after two outs from Williams and Willis.
The seventh inning began with two more consecutive strikeouts from Osterman. After a final single from Rojas to left field, the Pride pitcher finished out the contest by striking out her fourteenth batter of the evening.
The Pride next takes to the field tomorrow night at 7:05 pm for the third game of the series against the Venezuela National Team. In order to give Central Florida softball fans a unique opportunity to witness the Pride as they prepare for their 2010 NPF regular season, the Pride has extended a special offer for this exhibition series only. For the remainder of the games vs. Venezuela, the first 200 guests to the UCF Softball Complex will be offered free admission with the presentation of a discount flier which can be found both on www.dev.usssapride.com as well as the Pride’s facebook page.
The Pride’s 2010 NPF season will kick off June 9 in Lubbock, Texas when the team faces the Chicago Bandits at Rocky Johnson Field, home of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The opening game is scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m. local time. For more information on the Pride, visit www.dev.usssapride.com.
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.
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.
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), 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 News!