Viera, FL (August 9, 2017) – On a breezy Wednesday evening, the 2017 Regular Season Champions USSSA Pride (37-9) saluted the Space Coast Stadium with an overpowering win over the Beijing Eagles (3-44). A flawless pitching performance combined with an offensive slug-fest, propelled the Pride past Shougang, 11-0.
Clutching a five inning shutout, Jolene Henderson (7-2) took the circle for USSSA, snatching one strikeout and allowing one hit on 13 batters faced. With her record, Jolene has now jumped up to the fourth spot in the NPF leaderboard for wins, alongside fellow teammate Kelsey Nunley. Furthermore, the former Cal Bear is currently ranked sixth in the NPF for strikeouts, with an outstanding count of 52.
Relieving in the fifth, Jessica Burroughs (1-0) made her 15th appearance in her first NPF season, collecting one strikeout and allotting solely one hit in three innings pitched. In the 27.2 innings pitched, the former Seminole accumulated six walks and eight strikeouts for a seasonal ERA of 2.27.
The Pride offense burst throughout the entire game, as the Viera-based lineup seized 15 hits and 10 RBIs. In the last home outing, four USSSA players ended the night with a 2-for-3 performance. Megan Wiggins totaled three hits and batted in two runners, while Kirsti Merritt grasped three RBIs and her fifth seasonal homerun.
Starting off the game with a duel between pitchers, Merritt jump-started the game for USSSA in the bottom of the second, going yards with a two-run shot behind the left field fence to put the Pride ahead, 0-2. The USSSA bats were still hot, and in the third the back-to-back Regular Season Champs joined forces into a batting frenzy, clawing eight runs to motor past Shougang, 0-10.
In the bottom of the fifth, Merritt brought the Pride on the scoreboard once more to enlarge the stretch, 0-11. Entering the seventh with an overwhelming lead, Burroughs topped the Beijing lineup with a quick 1-2-3 frame and crowned the last Pride home win, 0-11.
The Pride will now travel to Chicago to face the Bandits in the last regular season series. The first game is set for Friday, Aug. 11 at 8:35 p.m. EST.
Game Time: 1:50
Vaultz® Lock It Up® Player of the Game: Kirsti Merritt (USSSA Pride)
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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 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.