Orlando, Fla. – The USSSA Florida Pride took to the field against the Chicago Bandits for the second time tonight at Rocky Johnson Field in Lubbock, Tex., looking to secure a lead in the series dubbed the West Texas Duel on the Diamond. They ended the game however in a tie for the series at 1-1, after a loss to the Bandits.

The Pride led off the contest in the bottom of the first, driving in two runs. A single from center fielder Caitlin Lowe was followed by an RBI double from Jessica Mendoza who took an extra base on the hit. A sacrifice fly from Kelly Kretschman advanced Mendoza to the plate, clearing the bases. The inning ended on a swinging strike-out on Amber Flores from Bandits pitcher Jennie Finch.

The Bandits put themselves on the board in the top of the third. A single from third base player Stacy May was followed by a home run by designated player Rachel Folden, tying the game up for the Bandits. An infield pop fly from Finch marked the third out of the inning.

The Bandits took the lead in the top of the fifth with an inside the park home-run from designated player Rachel Folden, straight to center field. A collision between Lowe and the center field wall allowed the ball to lay dormant long enough to give Folden the time to round the bases. A strike-out from Samantha Findlay followed, ending the inning for the Bandits.

The visiting team cemented their lead in the top of the sixth. A lead-off double from Finch put the Bandits in scoring position on second. A sacrifice bunt from Angela Findlay advanced Amberley Waits, who had stepped in to pinch run for Finch, to third. Emily Friedman stepped to the plate next, and made it on base on a fielder’s choice. A single from Rachel Mitchell drove in both Waits and Friedman, pushing the Bandits to five runs on the contest.

The Pride threatened in the bottom of the sixth when Kretschman made it on base on a fielder’s choice then stole a base to put her in scoring position on second. She was left stranded at the close of the inning however after a swinging strike-out from Kristin Schnake.

Pride pitcher Sarah Pauly was able to hold the Bandits in the top of the seventh, but the Pride couldn’t come back from the deficit and finished the bottom of the seventh with a quick three outs, and ending the contest with a 5-2 loss to the Bandits.

The tied series continues tomorrow night at 8:05 pm EST when the Pride and the Bandits take to Rocky Johnson Field in Lubbock, Tex. for the third time.

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!