Rachele Fico (Courtesy of Akron Racers)
KISSIMMEE, FL – July 25, 2013 - The USSSA Pride lost to the Akron Racers 7-6 in what was supposed to be the first game of a double header Thursday night, evening the four-game series to 1-1.
The Pride jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning after Caitlin Lowe scored on a double from GiOnna DiSalvatore off Akron’s Erin Arevalo, but the Racers answered back in the third when Sam Marder hit a grand slam off of NPF rookie Keilani Rickets, bringing in Brianna Turang, Kelley Montalvo and Charlotte Morgan. Brigette Del Ponte scored on a throwing error from Pride third baseman Andrea Duran, extending the Racers’ lead to 5-1.
In the fourth inning, Akron’s Tess Sito hit her first NPF homerun, which was followed by Taylor Schlopy scoring on a wild pitch. In the bottom half of the inning, Kelsey Bruder scored on a fielder’s choice from Natasha Watley, then Watley and Ricketts scored on a double from Lowe, bringing the Pride within three runs.
USSSA’s last effort came in the bottom of the seventh in the form of a double from DiSalvatore, scoring Lowe and Kristyn Sandberg, but it wouldn’t be enough.
Ricketts finished the night with seven strikeouts, allowing all seven of the Racers’ runs on as many hits. Jordan Taylor came on in relief in the fifth. She was hit in the wrist by a line drive from Marder in the same inning, but finished the game strong with five strikeouts.
Akron’s standout star was relief pitcher Rachele Fico, who came in for Arevalo in the fourth inning. Fico redeemed herself after a poor start in the previous night’s game, allowing only two hits for the rest of the game.
The second game of the double header was rained out, but was rescheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, and will be followed by the fourth and final game of the series at 2 p.m. Coverage for both games can be found at USSSAlive.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.
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!