Orlando, Fla. – The USSSA Florida Pride took to the field tonight for the fourth time against the Venezuela National Team and after a solid night at-bat, combined with seven strikeouts from Pride pitcher Sarah Pauly, came out on top in the contest with a final score of 10-0.
Stephanie Best, assistant coach for the UCF softball team, saw her second home-run of the exhibition season, the second for the Pride as well. Her fourth inning grand slam pushed her RBI for the series to six and has established her as the team’s go-to run producer.
Pauly, in her second outing with the team, and first complete game, struck-out seven, allowing only three hits and walking only two in a complete game shut-out.
“This time around, I was a lot more relaxed,” said Pauly.” I began to feel more comfortable with my pitches coming into the fourth inning. We’re learning each other’s signals and becoming more aggressive both offensively and defensively.”
The top of the first opened with a base hit from Venezuela center fielder Yaicey Sojo, followed by a ground ball to short from Maria Soto which retired Sojo on a fielder’s choice. A single from Rubilena Rojas advanced Soto to scoring position on second. Denisse Fuenmayor made it to first on a walk, leaving the bases full when Yuruby Alicart stepped to the plate. Alicart’s ground to short resulted in a 6-2 fielder’s choice, beating Soto to the plate and a second ground to third from Jineth Pimentel saw Rojas tagged out at third.
The first run for the Pride was scored in the bottom of the second, when Lauren Lappin scored on a sacrifice fly to center fielder from the Pride’s Caitlin Lowe. Lappin had made it base on a single at the opening of the inning.
The top of the fourth saw Venezuela in scoring position again after Fuenmayor led off with a single. A walk from Alicart and a sacrifice bunt from Pimentel advanced Fuenmayor to third but she was left stranded after a ground out to third from pinch hitter Geraldine Puertas and a fly out to left field from Anais Puertas.
The Pride racked up another eight runs in the bottom of the fourth, the first coming on a walk from Melissa Roth with the bases loaded, sending Nicole Trimboli to the plate. A double from Kelly Kretschman advanced Jessica Williams and Lowe home after each had singled to make it on base. Two consecutive walks from Tonya Callahan and Charlotte Morgan advanced Roth to the plate and left the bases loaded when Best stepped up to bat. Her second home-run and first grand -slam of the season brought in the next four runs. A ground-out from Lappin, followed by a walk by Trimboli, her third of the contest, and a pop-fly to left field from Williams concluded the inning.
The bottom of the sixth saw the Pride’s tenth run of the evening. Three consecutive walks from Callahan, Morgan and Willis, and two wild pitches which allowed all three to advance early, left the bases loaded when Lappin stepped to the plate. A pop-up to third marked the first out of the inning and left the Pride with multiple scoring opportunities as Trimboli came to bat. A sacrifice fly to left field brought Callahan home. Williams ground out to second ended the inning. Three quick outs in the top of the seventh marked the end of the game and concluded it with a 10-0 victory for the Pride.
The Pride next takes to the field tomorrow at 12:05 pm for the fifth and final 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!