Viera, FL- June 8, 2017- The Pride (0-1) kick off the 2017 season at their new home-field, Space Coast Stadium, after suffering a narrow loss to the Ohio-based Akron Racers (1-3), 6-4.
After trailing for five innings, a four-run sixth inning collaboration allowed the Racers to overlap the Pride and ultimately take home Game 1 of the opening series.
Hallie Wilson led the Pride firepower, as the first baseman snatched two hits on four at-bats and drove in two RBI. Oklahoma Sooners alumnus Lauren Chamberlain kick-started the season after blasting her first homerun for 2017.
In the circle, Jolene Henderson and Angel Bunner combined to face the Racers lineup. Henderson struck -out three and allotted five hits on 5.1 innings pitched, while Bunner recorded one strikeout and one hit in 1.2 innings pitched.
USSSA unbolted the opening game clutching three runs in the first, as Wilson flared a single to right center to push home fellow teammates Megan Wiggins and Kelly Kretschman, while catcher Chelsea Goodacre drove in shortstop Shelby Pendely.
After a blank second, the Pride clawed one more run in the third with Chamberlain going yards for a solo homer to extend the USSSA lead, 4-0.
However, the Racers reached the board in the fourth after a sac-fly by second baseman Alex Hugo, which allowed Taylor Schlopy to cross home plate.
With a three-run deficit, Akron turned around the game in the sixth, where Sami Fagan batted in one runner and Hugo cleared the bases with a three-run shot behind center field.
In the home offensive half, the USSSA put Kristi Merritt on base after the righty out of Lake Panasoffkee Florida was granted a free base followed by Wiggins who recorded her first hit of the evening.
Although having runner in scoring position, the Pride ended the inning empty-handed.
LSU alumnus Rachele Fico sealed the win for the Racers, striking-out three and allowing one hit on four innings pitched. Thanks to her performance on the mound, the right-handed pitcher earned her first seasonal win.
With the loss, USSSA broke its 10 game winning streak against the Racers which stemmed from the 2016 season.
The Pride return to the diamond tomorrow evening at 7:05 p.m. ET, where they look to take Game 2 of the opening series.
For more information please visit the USSSAPride.com!
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 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2004, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Akron Racers, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Chicago Bandits, Scrap Yard Dawgs, Texas Charge and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2017 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada and China among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.
USSSA is 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.