NPF Radio Show Tonight - 8:00 ET, 7:00 CT......Click on Listen Live!.................NPF Radio Show Tonight - 8:00 ET, 7:00 CT......Click on Listen Live!.................NPF Radio Show Tonight - 8:00 ET, 7:00 CT......Click on Listen Live!.................NPF Radio Show Tonight - 8:00 ET, 7:00 CT......Click on Listen Live!.................
HomeAbout NPFNewsOwn a TeamSchedulePlayersStoreChampionship StatisticsInternships
 

Pride battles back to defeat Racers in Game 5 and return to Championship Series Final, 9-7

By:
NPF Championship Series Game 5
 
No. 1 Seed USSSA Pride 9, No. 4 Seed Akron Racers 7
 
Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012
The Ballpark at Rosemont
 
ROSEMONT, Ill. – Jessica Mendoza clubbed two home runs for the second game in a row and drove in seven runs Saturday morning in the third and decisive game of an NPF Championship Series semifinal matchup, leading the No. 1 seed USSSA Pride to a come-from-behind, 9-7 win over the No. 4 seed Akron Racers to advance to Saturday night’s NPF Championship Final Series.
 
Saturday’s rubber match in the best two-out-of-three semifinal became necessary when the Racers erased a five-run deficit on Friday night. The Pride returned the favor Saturday morning after falling behind by the same margin in the very first inning. The win sends USSSA to the Final Series, which begins at 7 p.m. CT Saturday night against the No. 2 seed Chicago Bandits, which swept the Carolina Diamonds in its semifinal.
 
After scoring six runs in the sixth inning Friday night to force a rubber match, Akron kept its red hot momentum rolling with a five-run first inning Saturday morning, chasing USSSA Pride ace Cat Osterman from the circle after just two-thirds of a frame.
 
NPF Offensive Player of the Year Sam Marder, who hit two home runs Friday night, began the Saturday fireworks show with a two-run homer into the tops of the trees lining left-center field. The shot was Marder’s third of the NPF Championship Series. Briana Hesson kept the inning going, singling through the right side and giving way to pinch runner Sharonda McDonald. McDonald stole second, then came around to score when All-NPF choice Nicole Pauly served a single into left for a 3-0 lead.
 
One out later, Kaylyn Castillo planted an Osterman offering in the MB Financial Party Deck to extend the Racers’ lead to 5-0 and force the Pride to replace Osterman in the circle with Sarah Pauly, who ended the inning. Osterman officially was charged with five runs on four hits and a walk with two strikeouts.
 
Akron starter Kristina Thorson toed the rubber for the first time with that cushion and breezed through the first two frames before USSSA strung together a grand response in the third. Three-consecutive one-out singles from Lauren Lappin, Natasha Watley and Caitlin Lowe loaded the bases for Mendoza, who blasted a grand slam to dead center to immediately cut the Pride deficit all the way down to one run, 5-4.
 
Lisa Norris, who pitched in relief in both of the previous games of this series, entered in that role again following the Mendoza slam, and ending the inning. Thorson’s line was comprised of 2.1 innings of work with four runs on five hits, no walks and two strikeouts.
 
Akron got one back in the top of the fourth, turning a Nicole Trimboli leadoff double into a run when Kelly Montalvo singled into left-center. The Pride then limited the damage with the defensive play of the Championship Series to this point. Marder roped a liner to center where Lowe laid out to catch it before popping up and throwing a strike to first to double up Montalvo.
 
USSSA knotted the score with a two-out rally in the fourth from the same three batters who preceded the Mendoza grand slam in the third. Lappin began the rally with a soft single to left before Watley doubled into right. Lowe then singled back through the middle to knock both of them in to make the score 6-6. The 9-1-2-3 batters in the Pride lineup combined to go 10-for-14 in the game with nine RBIs and eight runs scored.
 
The Racers’ Pauly did not let the tie last, taking the Pride’s Pauly deep for a solo shot in the top of the fifth to again put Akron on top, 7-6.
 
In the end, there was too much Mendoza for the Racers to overcome. Stepping to the plate with two on and two out in the bottom of the sixth, Mendoza sent her fourth home run of the three-game series and her second of the day to opposite field to put USSSA in the lead for good, 9-7.
 
In the top of the seventh, Taylor Schlopy hit a two-out single into left for the Racers, but Sarah Pauly got the final batter to ground out to third to end the game. Pauly earned the win in relief, going 6.1 innings and allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Norris took the loss in relief, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts in 3.2 innings of work.






Search Archive »





Browse by Month »

March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
February 2003
November 2002
July 2002
December 2001