Photo by David Saffran
KISSIMMEE, FL – July 10, 2013 - It was another great night of softball at Osceola County Stadium Saturday night as the USSSA Pride won both games of a double header against the NY/NJ Comets, sweeping the four-game series. Game one was an offensive explosion with USSSA scoring 11 runs on seven hits, including a grand slam from Kristyn Sandberg, and game two found rookie Keilani Ricketts earning her first ever NPF win.
Pride: 11, Comets: 0
The Pride came out swinging, quite literally, in the third inning against NY/NJ starter Lindsey Richardson (1-3), who would face off against USSSA’s Jordan Taylor (4-1). After RBIs from Caitlin Lowe and GiOnna DiSalvatore put USSSA up 2-0, Kristyn Sandberg, who’d gone hitless in the Pride’s previous six games, sent a grand slam sailing over the outfield fence, giving her team a six-run lead.
The runs kept coming in for the Pride when Taryne Mowatt replaced Richardson in the circle in the fourth. Jessica Shults and Natasha Watley both scored on back-to-back pass balls, then Mowatt walked four straight Pride batters: Lowe, Jenn Salling, DiSalvatore and Haruna Sakamoto, walking in a run. Comets head coach Jay Nelson put Richardson back in the game, but she was once again no match for Sandberg, who earned her sixth RBI of the night with a two-run double.
Taylor threw five shutout innings with three hits and three strikeouts, picking up her fourth win of the season. Rookie Blaire Luna came in in relief in the top of the sixth and ended the game by getting out of a two outs, bases loaded, seventh inning jam, securing the win for the Pride.
The Comets’ only hits of the game came from Brittney Lindley (1-3), Angeline Quiocho (2-2) and Amanda Kamekona (1-3).
Pride: 3, Comets: 0
The Pride shut out the Comets for the second time of the night in game two. Pride starter Keilani Ricketts allowed only one hit, a single to Dorian Shaw in the second inning.
The first run of the ballgame came in the third inning when DiSalvatore scored on a throwing error from NY/NJ shortstop Bianca Mejia, giving the Pride a 1-0 lead. The next inning, Lowe scored on an RBI from DiSalvatore off of Comets pitcher Angel Bunner (2-10), who threw a complete game. The final run of the night came when Francesca Enea scored on a single from Megan Willis.
After allowing just one hit and striking out four Comets hitters, Ricketts was replaced by fellow NPF rookie Chelsea Thomas at the start of the fifth inning. Thomas also only gave up one hit, a single to Mejia in the sixth, and she finished the night with three Ks, helping Ricketts earn her first NPF win.
The Pride may have come away with the win, but they had plenty of missed opportunities; they stranded 12 runners on base throughout the game, including three bases-loaded innings.
Next, the Pride face off against the league-leading Chicago Bandits in Rosemont, Ill. for a four-game series starting Wednesday, Aug. 14.
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!