Kelly Kretschman

Kissimmee, Fla. – The USSSA Florida Pride took on the Chicago Bandits tonight in the second game of a five-game series this weekend and in a three hour game, took the defeat, with the game ending in a 8-3 loss.

Danielle Lawrie, in her Pride debut went head-to-head with Jennie Finch and shouldered the loss for the home team allowing eight runs on five hits, striking out three and walking six.

Finch struck out seven over the course of seven innings and allowed three runs on six hits.

The Bandits struck first in the top of the second when Lawrie allowed the bases to become loaded on three walks issued to Jennie Finch, Vicky Galindo, and Emily Friedman. Christine Knauer followed at the plate, reaching on a fielder’s choice, preventing Finch from scoring. A second consecutive fielder’s choice brought Stacy May aboard and allowed all runners to advance safely. A single from Amber Patton followed and pushed two more runs across from Friedman and Knauer. Rachel Folden followed with a double laced to the left field gap, driving in runs from May and Patton. The side retired on a swinging strikeout from Samantha Findlay, her second of the night.

The Bandits continued their lead through the top of the third when a lead-off walk from Finch was followed by a dropped third strike on Angela Findlay, advancing Finch to third. Finch was able to score on an error from catcher Megan Willis, growing the Bandits lead to six.

The Pride made it onto the board in the bottom of the third after a single from Charlotte Morgan drove in a run from Natasha Watley, who had reached on a single to lead-off the inning. A fielder’s choice from Kelly Kretschman prevented Duran from scoring but put runners on the corners for Tonya Callahan’s at-bat. A double from Callahan drove across Morgan and Kretschman, closing the Pride deficit to three. A pop-out to short from Megan Willis retired the side.

The Bandits scored two more in the top of the fifth. A single from Emily Friedman drove in two runs from Angela Findlay and Vicky Galindo after going under the gloves of both Lawrie and Flores. The top of the inning closed on an infield pop-fly to Natasha Watley from May.

The game ended with the series tied at 1-1 going into tomorrow’s double-header. The first game is slated to begin at 5:05 pm and is to be immediately followed by a retirement ceremony to honor the prolific career of Jennie Finch.

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!