USSSA Pride (Photo by Rachel Goosens)
Kissimmee, FL – July 13, 2013 - The battle for the NPF Regular Season title heated up at Osceola County Stadium as the top two teams in the NPF met with first place on the line.
In game one the Chicago Bandits would get on the board first. In the top of the second inning Chicago’s Nerissa Myers led off the inning with a single, while Danielle Zymkowitz would follow walking. With two on and only one out Kimi Pohlman singled to produce the first run of the ballgame. NPF Veteran Vicky Galindo would bring in Zymkowitz picking up an RBI giving Chicago a 2-0 lead.
Chicago Rookie Andi Williamson (4-1) who picked up a win vs. USSSA earlier in the season was solid early in the ball game. She carried a no hitter through into the bottom of the 5th. USSSA’s Kristyn Sandberg led off the inning walking. With one out and runners on first and second Caitlin Lowe singled placing the ball just outside of the reach of Bandits shortstop Tammy Williams. One batter later Nikia Williams hit her second career home run to give the Pride a 4-2 advantage.
The Bandits had their opportunities as their lineup produced 11 hits in the ball game. The Pride needed to use four pitchers in the victory with Cat Osterman coming in to get the final out striking out Kimi Pohlman. With the victory the Pride moved a half game ahead of Chicago in the NPF Standings.
Game two was a battle of two legends of the game as the NPF leader in ERA Monica Abbott faced off against the league leader in strikeouts Cat Osterman.
The top of the Pride’s lineup started the team out with both Natasha Watley and Caitlin Lowe starting off the contest reaching on a single. The Pride would bring to the plate eight batters in the first including Kristyn Sandberg and GiOnna DiSalvatore two both picked up an RBI to give the Pride a 2-0 lead. With the bases loaded and only one out Abbott got out of a big jam striking out both Andrea Duran and Francesca Enea.
The Bandits would answer back in the 4th inning. Nerissa Myers and Alisa Goler lead off the inning with back-to-back singles. Osterman battled back two get the next two batters she faced, but with two outs Amber Patton’s single would drive in Myers. During the play Watley was able to tag Brittany Cervantes out as she tried to take an extra base, but that opened the door for Goler to score the tying run.
One inning later the Bandits would turn Cat Osterman’s seventh strikeout of the ballgame into the game winning run. Kazuki Watanabe advanced to first on a dropped third strike. Vicky Galindo’s ground out back to Osterman would allow Watanabe to advance into scoring position. One batter later Myers single would provide Chicago with the game-winning run.
The Pride threated through out the ballgame, but would have one more opportunity in the seventh inning when a two out double would place Kelly Kretchman in scoring position. Abbott would come back to pick up her 9th strikeout of the ball game as she retired Sandberg to end the game.
The win placed Chicago a half game head of the Pride in the 2013 NPF Standings. Next up for the Pride they take the road to battle against the NY/NJ Comets. The Pride will be featured on ESPN2 on Saturday, and Sunday.
Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score
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!