Clermont, Fla. — The USSSA Pride dominated a cloudy afternoon doubleheader Saturday at the National Training Center Softball Complex in Clermont, Fl, winning both games and completing a sweep of the series against the Carolina Diamonds. The teams and fans celebrated the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the legislation that opened the door for women to play sports at publically funded schools, with an appearance from softball legend Dot Richardson. This delightful double header of National Pro Fastpitch softball fun was broadcast live on ESPN thanks to the USSSA’s New Media team.
The action started with Pride Pitcher and Olympian Cat Osterman (2-1) delivered a dominating performance in the first game, allowing only 3 hits and 2 runs, while striking out 12 batters. The Pride offense heated up late, scoring 8 runs in the last 3 innings of the game. Kelsey Bruder and Andrea Duran each scored two runs, and six other Pride players scored in the blowout victory.
Diamonds Pitcher Katie Burkhar (2-4) allowed 6 of the Pride’s runs, as well as 9 hits, in just over four innings pitched. She was relieved by Sharon Palma who allowed four additional runs and 6 more hits.
Jamee Juarez sealed the second game for the Pride with a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth. Kelsey Bruder, who had a two-run homerun in the bottom of the fourth inning, and Kristyn Sandberg, who was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, also helped the Pride to a 11-1 victory in game two. Pride Pitcher Danielle Lawrie (3-0) recorded 11 strikeouts and the win.
Nikia Williams got her first hit as a professional player during the sixth inning with a RBI single.
The day wasn’t all celebration for the Pride, though. Charlotte Morgan was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning and left the game with an apparent wrist injury.
The Pride now travel to Rosemont, Ill. to take on the Chicago Bandits in a four-game series starting on June 28. Visit dev.usssapride.com for game recaps and news from the series.
View Game 1 on replay on ESPN here: http://espn.go.com/watchespn/player/_/id/480770/
View Game 2 on replay on ESPN here: http://espn.go.com/watchespn/player/_/id/480782/
(Note you have to login to an ESPN account to watch!)
By Ashley Carnifax
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!