Orlando, Fla. – The USSSA Florida Pride and the Chicago Bandits faced off again today in the fifth and final game of the West Texas Duel on the Diamond. With a 2-2 tie for the series leading into the contest, each team had something to prove as they took to the field, looking to leave Lubbock with a series win.
The Bandits took the lead early, scoring two runs in the top of the first. A single from center fielder Vicky Galindo was followed by an RBI double from catcher Rachel Folden. An RBI single from designated player Jennie Finch drove in the second run from Folden. A single from Angela Findlay put Finch in scoring position on second but the pair was left stranded after Rachel Mitchell stepped to the plate and struck out swinging.
The Bandits saw homeruns in the next two consecutive innings from shortstop Christine Knauer and Folden, pushing the Bandits’ lead to four at the close of the top of the third.
The Pride saw their only runs of the contest in the bottom of the third. Leading off the inning was designated player Amber Flores, who made it to base after being hit by a pitch. A walk from Andrea Duran advanced Flores to second, where Kristin Schnake stepped in to pinch run for her. Natasha Watley came to the plate next, and reached base on an error from Emily Friedman at second, leaving the bases loaded when Melissa Roth came to bat. A double from the rookie drove in both Schnake and Duran, but three strikeouts in the bottom of the inning held the Pride at two runs.
The Bandits secured their lead in the top of the sixth when four more runs were scored, giving the Bandits a six run lead. A six hit inning, the top of the sixth saw singles from Finch, Mitchell, Friedman, Knauer, and Stacy May, as well as a two RBI triple from Galindo. Runs were scored by Finch, Mitchell, Knauer, and May.
The Pride attempted to rally back in both the sixth and seventh, with both innings showing runners threatening at third, but the Bandits were able to hold the score and close the game with an 8-2 victory and a win for the series.
The Pride take to the field next in an exhibition series against the Canadian National Team Tuesday, June 15 at 7:05 pm EST.
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.
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!