AKRON, OH (June 24, 2017) — In an incredibly tight pitcher’s duel at Firestone Stadium, the USSSA Pride, led by pitchers Hannah Rogers (Florida) and Keilani Ricketts (Oklahoma), and managed to squeak out a 1-0 victory over the Beijing Shougang Eagles and pitcher Wang Lan.
Shortstop Shelby Pendley (Oklahoma) slammed a solo home run for the Pride to lead of the second inning. That would be prove to be enough offense for USSSA to earn the victory, and for Pendley to be awarded the Vaultz Lock it Up Player of the Game.
After Rogers threw three scoreless innings, in which she allowed two hits and a walk, she was replaced by Ricketts in the bottom of the fourth inning. Ricketts would retire 12 of the 13 hitters she faced, while racking up six strikeouts to earn the victory. Today’s win brings her record to an impressive 5-1 on the season.
Eagles’ starting pitching Wang Lan was very solid as well, spreading only five hits across her complete seven innings of work. Lan only allowed the one run, but the Pendley blast was enough to give her the loss (0-6).
Beijing’s defense was very impressive, keeping the score tight all throughout the game. Eagles’ left fielder Lui Yi Ning made an incredible diving catch to end the fourth inning, and catcher Xi Kai Lin threw out two Pride base runners attempting to steal second base to highlight the Eagles’ amazing defensive effort.
The Eagles best shot at cracking the scoreboard came in the bottom of the third inning, when leadoff hitter Yuan Huai Ning picked up an infield single. Liu Li Li followed with a sacrifice bunt to move Ning to second base. Rogers forced Chen Jia to ground out, but Ning moved up to third base. With Ning on third base and two outs, Rogers got Xi Kai Lin to fly out to left fielder Kirsti Merritt to end the game.
Both teams will be back in action tomorrow, with the Eagles taking on the Akron Racers at 4:05 p.m. ET. Shortly after the conclusion of that matchup, there will be a rematch between Beijing and the Pride to complete the double header at Firestone Stadium on Sunday, June 25th.
* Attendance: 1183
* Game Time: 1:32
* Vaultz® Lock It Up® Player of the Game: Shelby Pendley (USSSA Pride)
Click Here For: Box Score
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.