The USSSA Pride and Rockford Thunder met in Game 1 of the NPF Championship Finals at Firestone Stadium on Saturday night, and the Pride grabbed the game one victory 4-0 behind a strong pitching performance by Sarah Pauly and timely hitting throughout the Pride lineup.
With the Akron Racers holding a 1-0 lead in the first round of the NPF Championships, Cat Osterman and Angela Tincher faced off in what started as a great pitching match up. Tincher carried a perfect game through the first three innings, while Osterman surrendered only one walk in the same time frame.
The stage was set for the NPF to display some of the best softball in the world Thursday night in Akron, Ohio with their Championship Series. Unfortunately, the league's top four teams were beat by Mother Nature.
On the heels of last week’s announcement from the IOC regarding their recommendation to not include softball on the 2016 slate, the National Pro Fastpitch League suddenly becomes a more important focus for the fastpitch softball community.
Bandits third baseman Stacy May wasted no time making a statement against Rockford’s undefeated pitcher Cat Osterman, blasting just the third pitch of the game from Osterman deep to centerfield for the solo homerun to give the Bandits a 1-0 lead with no outs in the bottom of the first.
Coming off a 15 hit night on Thursday, the Chicago Bandits (25-12) bats picked up right where they left off with both Tammy Williams and Amber Patton reaching base on swinging bunts to kick off the bottom of the first inning. Rachel Folden followed them up with a walk to load the bases for Bandits’ first baseman Samantha Findlay.
With one down and Bandits right fielder Amber Patton on second, Rachel Folden blasted the 1-1 pitch deep to right centerfield, bringing Patton around to score for the early 1-0 lead over the Thunder (19-18).
In the top of the seventh, Bandits catcher Rachel Folden finally broke through against Rockford’s Cat Osterman, getting the first hit of the game off Osterman (11-0) for a single through the left side. Bandits’ first baseman Samantha Findlay followed Folden up with her own single to put two on.
Kissimmee, FL- After scoring only one run in their last three games the Pride’s bats came to life in game three of the series. Facing former UCF Knight Allison Kime (3-10) the Pride were able to drive her from the ball game in the bottom of the fourth inning.
A costly error – the final out of the top of the ninth inning was dropped in left field by Bandits’ centerfielder Nicole Trimboli – would end Chicago’s night when the very next batter Jenny Topping slammed the go ahead run to give the Racers (25-14) the 2-0 lead.
Bandits pitcher Jennie Finch (fresh off a stint in Japanwith team USA) came back with a vengeance, helping her own cause in the circle by blasting the first pitch of the bottom half of the fourth inning deep to left field for the solo home run, tying the score at 4-4 with the Akron Racers. With the score at 4-4 and with Amber Patton on first, Bandits (23-9) catcher Rachel Folden blasted a 2-1 pitch deep to centerfield and off the wall, bringing Patton around to score from first for the game ending run and a 5-4 Bandits victory over Akron (24-14).
Kissimmee, Fl – It was a classic NPF pitcher’s duel in game two of the series between the Rockford Thunder (16-16) and the USSSA Pride (12-20). The Thunder threw US Olympian Cat Osterman (9-0) in the circle vs. Desiree Serrano (2-9).
The Akron Racers are set to host the 2009 National Pro Fastpitch Championship Series at Firestone Stadium from August 19-23rd. Fans can call the Akron Racers Box Office at 330-376-8188 or purchase them online by visiting ticketreturn.com.
The USSSA Pride spoiled the Akron Racers 2009 home finale by picking up their first win of the series 6-2. The Pride (11-19) mixed a combination of good pitching, hitting and an ability to capitalize on Racer (22-13) miscues to come away with the victory.
The Akron Racers continued to roll along as they greeted the USSSA Pride at Firestone Stadium Friday night by defeating the Pride 10-1. The Racers were powered offensively by Kate Robinson who went 1-3 with her one hit being a three run home run. Robinson added a total of five RBIs to her evening with a sacrifice fly and an RBI ground out in addition to the homer.