Megan Willis

Orlando, Fla. – For the second game in a row between the USSSA Florida Pride and the Akron Racers last night, it was the rain that came in to end the evening early. After resuming a suspended game from July 18, the two teams took to the field for their regularly scheduled contest, but after making it only to the bottom of the second, the game had to be suspended due to severe thunderstorms.

The two teams started where they left off, in the bottom of the second with Danielle Lawrie in the circle for the Pride and Taryne Mowatt stepping in for the Racers in the top of the third, but it was in the top of the fifth that the bats lit up. Two consecutive singles form Akron’s Clare Burnum and Jamee Juarez, gave the Racers their first two runs of the evening, putting them ahead 3-2. Three quick outs retired the side, but the visiting team had taken the lead on the contest.

After an extended rain delay in the bottom of the fifth, the game resumed. A single from Natasha Watley drove Kristin Schnake, who had reached on walk, across the plate, tying the game. The bottom of the sixth turned the tables back in the favor of the home team when Tonya Callahan laced a double to the right center gap, scoring Jessica Mendoza who has led-off the inning with a single. After two strikeouts issued by Taryne Mowatt, a walk from Willis put two runners on. Charlotte Morgan stepped to the plate next and with a two RBI single, drove in Karli Hubbard, in to run for Tonya Callahan, and Willis. A subsequent single Watley drove in the seventh run of the game for the Pride, ultimately giving the Pride the 7-3 victory in the contest.

Immediately following the close of last night’s game, the two teams got set for the second game of the evening, with Cat Osterman taking to the circle for the Pride after being out with a shoulder injury for a significant portion of the season.

Osterman pitched only one inning, but struck out two before giving way to Sarah Pauly.

The Pride made it on the board first in the bottom of the first when Melissa Roth came across the plate on a walk from Morgan, giving the home team an early lead which they continued through the bottom of the second. Three consecutive doubles from Alissa Haber, Watley, and Roth scored two more runs for the Pride, marking the score at 3-0 at the close of the second.

The Pride struck again in the bottom of the fourth when a single from Watley drove in Willis, who led off the inning with a double to just inside the left field fence.

The Racers finally made a presence on the board in the top of the sixth when Lisa Modglin ripped a solo home-run over the center-field wall to give the visiting team their first run of the night. Two consecutive doubles from Jackie Pasquerella and Samantha Ricketts scored the Racers a second run when Pasquerella came across the plate.

Megan Willis responded for the Pride in the bottom of the sixth when she laced a two-run home run past the left field wall, driving in herself and Jessica Williams, pinch running for Morgan who had reached on a single.

The contest ended in a 6-2 victory for the Pride, giving them and early lead on the series going into game three. The two teams will face off in a double header tomorrow night with game one slated for 5:05 pm.

The USSSA Florida Pride joined the NPF as a franchise Team in November of 2009, operated by Florida Pride LLC. USSSA managed the Pride Team during 2009, culminating their inaugural season with a second place finish in the Championship Series. USSSA Florida Pride is sponsored by USSSA, the world’s largest amateur sports association, and is headquartered in Kissimmee, Florida.

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 News!