Akron, OH- June 21, 2015– In a very special Father’s Day match up, the USSSA Pride defeated the Akron Racers by a final score of 6-2.
The Pride got on base quickly with a Natasha Watley single to center field right out the gate followed by a Kelly Kretschman double to advance Watley to third base. Unfortunately, Watley was thrown out at home in the next hit by Megan Wiggins but the Pride took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Shelby Pendley drove in two runs with a single that snuck through the right side of the infield. Lisa Norris minimized the damage by getting Madison Shipman to pop out the third base, ending the inning.
The Racers answered in the bottom of the first inning when Taylor Schlopy launched her fourth homerun of the year over the center field fence. Schlopy drove in Jill Barrett who reached base on an error by Pride pitcher Keilani Ricketts but Ricketts was able to stop the damage by striking out the next two batters and forcing Outon to ground out ending the inning with a tie score.
The Pride retook the lead in the top of the third inning when Megan Wiggins hit a home run that was just out of Jenny Gilbert’s reach to make it a one run ballgame. The Racers threatened in the bottom of the third when Schlopy and Nerissa Myers singled, but no runs came across.
In the top of the fourth, Amber Freeman was hit by a pitch and Courtney Ceo went in to pinch run but it was a quick inning and no runners advanced. Both Kelley Montalvo and Ayumi Karino singled in the bottom of the fourth, but Ricketts escaped the inning, not allowing either runner to advance and keeping the score as is.
Both teams were held hitless in the fifth and sixth innings, but the Pride threatened in the top of the seventh. Megan Jo Willis drew a leadoff walk and Kelly Kretschman singled to give the Pride runners on first and second. Both runners advanced on a passed ball, and then Megan Wiggins hit her second homerun of the game to increase the Pride lead to four. Wiggins has three home runs on the 2015 season.
The Racers came up in the bottom of the seventh needing a rally, but were stymied. Jordan Taylor, who relieved Ricketts in the sixth inning, struck out four of the six batters she faced and got the save. Ricketts picked up the win for the Pride, improving her record to 1-0.
The series continues tonight and tomorrow (June 22nd & 23rd) on CBS Sports Network at 7:05 PM (ET). Find your local CBS channel with CBS’s “channel finder”.
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 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.
About USSSA: 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.