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Pride Take Lead in Series with a 6-4 Win Over Diamonds
Kissimmee, Fla. – The bats were hot as the USSSA Florida Pride took on the Tennessee Diamonds tonight with a combined 25 hits recorded between the two teams. It was the Pride who came out on top though, winning for the second night in a row, with a 6-4 victory.
In Danielle Lawrie’s first professional win, the pitcher allowed four runs on twelve hits, walking only two and striking out four.
Megan Gibson started in the circle for the Diamonds and shouldered the loss, allowing four runs on eight hits and was relieved in the third inning by Kristin Erb who allowed the final two runs to be scored.
For the second night in a row, it was the Pride who made their way on the board first. Natasha Watley led-off the bottom of the first with a single and after making it to second on a pass ball, was advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Jessica Mendoza. A walk issued to Tonya Callahan put runners on the corners and a single from Melissa Roth drove Watley across the plate, scoring the first Pride run of the evening. A fielder’s choice from Andrea Duran saw Roth tagged out at second, ending the inning.
The Diamonds struck back in the top of the fourth, and much like last night, it was a home-run that put the visiting team on the board for the first time. After a lead-off single from DeDe Justice, Megan Gibson laced a home-run past the left-field fence, driving in the Diamonds first two runs of the contest.
Francesca Enea responded for the Pride in the bottom of the fourth when she led-off with a solo home-run on the first pitch of her at-bat, tying the game at 2-2. After three consecutive singles from Amber Flores, Lauren Lappin, and Natasha Watley, Mendoza laced a two-RBI double to the right field gap, giving the Pride a two run lead at the close of the fourth inning.
The Pride added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth when a triple from Flores scored Duran, who had reached on a single. An RBI single from pinch-hitter Charlotte Morgan drove in the run from Flores. A single from Natasha Watley looked poise to score Lappin, back in to run for Morgan, but Lappin was tagged out on the scoring attempt.
Gibson came back in the top of the sixth, scoring her second home-run of the contest as a solo-shot to lead off the inning. After a single from Chelsie Mesa, Loryn Johnson reached on a fielder’s choice. An RBI double from Shanna Diller drove in the Diamonds’ fourth run of the evening, closing the deficit to two in the middle of the sixth.
The visiting team attempted a rally in the top of the seventh, loading the bases on two singles and a walk, but two strike-outs from Lawrie and a pop-out to Lappin at short ended the game with the Pride victorious.
The teams will go head-to-head tomorrow night for the third of four games in the series with the Pride currently leading the series at 2-0. Game-time is scheduled for 7:05 pm.
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.
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).