Kissimmee, FL—July 5, 2016—Home runs worked as bookend for the Pride as they slugged their way to a 13-10 victory in Rosemont, IL against the Chicago Bandits.
The Pride scored runs in bulk, collecting two or more runs in all but one inning in which they scored. Sierra Romero (2-5, 3 RBI) got things started in the first inning with a three-run blast over the left field fence. Megan Wiggins and Missy Taukeiaho also went long, leading the Pride to 13 runs on 17 hits. The victory was a group effort, as seven members of the Pride roster had at least one RBI.
The game felt like a tight match all the way up until the sixth inning, when Chicago came back from a 10-5 deficit to score five runs and tie things up. Neither team scored in the seventh, forcing the game into extra innings.
Shelby Pendley started things off in the eighth with one out, doubling to left center field to bring up Romero. She followed suit with a single to send Pendley to third. Pendley and the Pride took a risk and tried for the go-ahead run on the single, but she was thrown out at the plate and the Pride were down to their last out. Enter pinch hitter GiOnna DiSalvatore. DiSalvatore ripped a double into right center field and scored Romero for what would be the go-ahead run. Just to be certain of the win, Taukeiaho hit a clutch, two-run blast to left center field to pad the Pride lead and make the score 13-10.
The home run from Taukeiaho proved to be assuring but unnecessary, because the Bandits failed to score a run with their final chances, despite a two-out double from Megan Blank to keep the inning alive. Despite the effort, the Bandits went down in four batters with two strikeouts to start the inning and a lineout to left field to end the game and finalize the Pride victory.
The Pride utilized the bullpen tonight, putting three pitchers to work. Starter Hannah Rogers pitched three innings and gave up two runs before handing things over to reliever Keilani Ricketts. Ricketts also threw three innings, giving up eight runs on 11 hits before the Pride called in closer Jordan Taylor. Taylor held down the fort, giving up just two hits in nine batters faced in two innings pitched. She struck out three and allowed no runs to score as she closed out the game and got the win for the Pride.
The Pride will face the Bandits again tomorrow (July 6) in the final game of the series. First pitch is set for 8:00 PM (ET) in Rosemont, IL.
POWERHANDS Player of the Game
USSSA Pride: 13
Chicago Bandits: 10
Follow the Pride!
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 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.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF): National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series. The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball