Kelly Kretschman Photo by Danielle Victoria Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
Kissimmee, FL (July 17, 2016) — The USSSA Pride took game one against the Chicago Bandits out here at ESPN Wide World of Sports with a 6–0 final score. With the win, the Pride improved to 20-7 and continue to lead the NPF standings.
Megan Wiggins kicked off the game with a leadoff double that quickly put two on following a Kretschman walk. Sierra Romero then grounded out to into a double play that left Kretschman on second. Following a wild pitch, Kelly Kretschman advanced to third. Shelby Pendley then drew the walk that put two on with two outs as Hallie Wilson stepped into the box. Hallie Wilson capitalized for the Pride with two down and sent out a hard-hit liner through the middle and scored runners Pendley and Kretschman to grab the early 2-0 lead.
Kelly Kretschman added to the lead in the bottom of the third with a solo home run, her seventh of the season. Sierra Romero drew her own walk immediately after Kretschman and advanced to third following a Shelby Pendley double that put runners on second and third, but could not add to their 3-0 lead. The Bandits made a pitching change, Waldrop for Foley, that shut down the Pride offense.
The game was suspended in the top of the fourth due to inclement weather, but continued at 5PM the next day. The Bandits managed to load up the bases but could not capitalize to kick things off on day two of the matchup.
The Pride continued to dominate and took advantage in the bottom of the fourth, starting with pinch hitter GiOnna DiSalvatore, who singled up the middle to lead things off. Courtney Ceo then grounded out to third, but not before pushing GiOnna DiSalvatore over to second. Megan Wiggins then stepped up to the plate and singled with one out. Both runners, DiSalvatore and Wiggins, advanced on the throw. Kelly Kretschman then singled up the middle to score both Wiggins and DiSalvatore to give the Pride a 5-0 lead. Romero added her own single to the carnage which was followed by a Pendley RBI single that scored Kretschman from third to open up the Pride lead to 6-0.
In the top of the seventh, Brown homered over the right field fence to put Chicago on the board, but it wasn’t enough to lessen the Pride lead.
Starting pitcher Chelsea Thomas tossed seven innings and struck out 8 hitters to earn her fourth win of the season.
During game two, the Bandits jumped on the board early in the third. Kloss started things off for the Bandits with a walk but was thrown out on a fielders choice that granted Barrett first. Blank followed suit with an infield single that placed runners on first and third. Blank stole second, then brought up Cervantes, who flied out to left, but scored Barrett for the first run of the game to put the Bandits up 1-0. Edwards added to the lead with a double down the left line over the head of Wilson to score Blank and put the Bandits up 2-0.
Megan Wiggins responded in the bottom of the third with a solo shot over the right field fence to cut the lead down to 2-1.
In the top of the fourth, Brown added her second home run of the night to put the Bandits up 3-1. Carosone drew a walk that was followed by a Marshall single that put two on for Blank, who managed a 2-out 2-RBI single up the middle to open up the lead 5-1. The Pride threatened a few times, but could not come back and earned their eighth loss of the season.
Starting pitcher Jolene Henderson tossed three complete innings before being relieved by rookie Kelsey Nunley in the top of the fourth. Nunley struck out 3 hitters in 2.2 innings pitched before being relieved by Jordan Taylor in the 6th. In 1.1 innings pitched, Jordan Taylor struck out three and kept the Bandits to one hit, but it wasn’t enough to secure the win.
The Pride complete the series against the Bandits on Monday night at 7:00PM (ET) here at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Make sure to tune in to NPFTV for all of the action!
USSSA Pride: 6
Chicago Bandits: 1
USSSA Pride: 1
Chicago Bandits: 5
GAME 1 BOX SCORE
GAME 1 PLAY BY PLAY
GAME 2 BOX SCORE
GAME 2 PLAY BY PLAY
About the Chicago Bandits:
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level, and the roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May-Johnson, Emily Allard and Tammy Williams. The three-time NPF Champions, who are owned by Bill Sokolis, play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women’s professional team. The 2016 season will be the Bandits’ 12th season in the NPF.
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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.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF):
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series. The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.
Note to Media
Photos and b-roll of players is available. Interviews with the league commissioner are welcomed, and top players from each team are accessible immediately. If you’re interested in pursuing story angles about professional softball for women, please don’t hesitate to contact us.