NPF STARTS SEASON
June 10 2012
(from NPF press releases starting with Day One)
Yesterday (June 8), marked the opening day of the 2012 National Pro Fastpitch season with the Carolina Diamonds defeating the Akron Racers in the opening game. Racers’ pitcher, Kristina Thorson, never could quite find her stride allowing: five hits, six runs, three walks and a home run before she was replaced by Hilary Bach, the newcomer from Arizona State. Bach managed to hold the Diamonds to one more run after her substitution, but it wasn’t enough for the, already behind, Racers. In the fourth inning, former Diamond, Aja Paculba knocking a three run homerun to close the gap to 7-3, but it wasn’t enough to overtake the Diamonds already commanding lead.
Meanwhile, in Rosemont, Illinois, the Chicago Bandits were busy defending their National Title from the USSSA Florida Pride. The Pride drew first blood after Ashley Charters advanced
home at the top of first inning thanks to a Bandits error. Unfortunately for the Pride their lead didn’t last long after Amber Patton, Tammy Williams, and Kristen Butler all managed to put
runs on the board in the first. Monica Abbot put forward a phenomenal performance, with ten strikeouts, holding the Pride to only the one run for the entire game and allowing only one
hit. The Bandits managed to squeeze out one more run in the fourth inning when Kristen Butler made it home a second time after Vicky Galindo made contact sending the ball out to
center field. This last score sealed the game and gave the Bandits a 4-1 win over the Pride.
Hillary Bach earns first NPF win with 5-0 shutout over Diamonds
AKRON, OH –June 9, 2012– In her first career start as a professional softball player, Hillary Bach (1-0) stepped in the pitching circle and was electric, allowing two hits and zero runs in seven innings of work earning a complete game shutout.
The Racers (2-1) maintained the strong defense that was seen in last night’s game, winning 5-0 against the Diamonds (1-2).
Diamond’s second basemen, Natalie Villarreal started the game off with a walk to first and Caitlin Lever followed that up with a base hit, moving Villarreal to second. GiOnna DiSalvatore hit a line drive to second basemen Nicole Pauly, allowing for a double play with a tag on Lever and punch out of DiSalvatore out at first.
The Racers continued their strong defense throughout the game allowing no more than four batters to appear at-bat in an inning.
During the bottom of the second, Taylor Schlopy earned a walk to first, Alicia Herron also reached with a HBP, and Kaylyn Castillo also earned a walk walking, loading the bases for the Racers. Aja Paculba stepped up to bat, hitting a foul ball to the third basemen for a sacrifice fly. Schlopy added a run at home after a wild throw from third to home, also allowing Herron to score.
The winning pitcher of the night was Hillary Bach with two hits, zero runs, and one walk. Burkhart (0-1) took the fall for the Diamonds, pitching four innings with two hits, three runs, four walks and four strikeouts.
The Akron Racers and Carolina Diamonds will play game four of the four game weekend series tomorrow afternoon at 2:05 p.m.
Abbott throws a No Hitter to lead Bandits over Pride
ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Chicago Bandits started off a busy day before the game by retiring former Bandit and USA Olympic pitcher Jennie Finch’s number in center field and honoring players from last year’s team with the Championship ring ceremony.
All the festivities had the fans buzzing to begin the game, and the players must have felt it too. Monica Abbott started in the circle for the Bandits and struck out the first three batters she faced to quickly retire the side.
The first inning ended with neither team getting a runner on base and Abbott continued her hot pitching in the second. A Bandits error allowed the Pride to advance a runner to first, but three more Abbott strikeouts brought a quick ending to the inning again.
Both teams’ bats were quiet through the first three and a half innings, but Amanda Williams got the first hit of the game as she hit a triple deep to the wall. Vicky Galindo was next up to the plate and hit a grounder to Cat Osterman who bobbled it, allowing Galindo to advance to first and Williams to come home to give the Bandits a 1-0 lead.
The Pride continued to struggle to find a way to get on base in the fourth, leading to another quick inning. In the bottom of the fourth, Alisa Goler led off for the Bandits with a triple to right field. The Bandits couldn’t bring Goler home though, as Osterman pitched three consecutive strikeouts to bring the inning to an end, leaving Goler on third.
The fifth inning continued the fantastic pitching matchup as Abbott struck out three more batters to bring her total to 10 and Osterman struck out another to bring her total to nine on the night.
Abbott kept up the heat in the sixth inning, striking out two more batters bringing the count to 12. Before the bottom of the sixth, the Pride brought in Jamee Juarez to pitch for Osterman. Juarez picked up where Osterman left off, picking up a strikeout while holding off the Bandits offense, leaving the game at 1-0.
The one run on three hits would be all the offense the Bandits would need as Abbott pitched a no hitter including 14 strikeouts.
After an exciting night that included the retirement of Jennie Finch’s number and Abbott’s no hitter, the Bandits held the first ever postgame fireworks show in The Ballpark at Rosemont.
Racers take series against Diamonds with 9-2 victory
AKRON, OH – June 10, 2012 – Kaylyn Castillo blasted the first home run of her career in the second inning with a three-run home run to left field, giving the Akron Racers (3-1) a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second against the Carolina Diamonds.
The Akron Racers added five more runs to defeat the Diamonds, 9-2, in a Sunday afternoon match up.
Danielle Spaulding (0-1) started in the circle against the Racers, allowing no runs and no hits with one strikeout in the first.
Spaulding’s pitching faded in the second inning after an RBI single by Taylor Schlopy and Castillo following that up with the home run. From the second through fourth innings, the Diamonds were unsuccessful at stopping the Racers offense from the circle, allowing nine runs and seven hits.
Racers’ first basemen, Nicole Trimboli got in on the offensive action, hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning, bringing the score to 9-0 in favor of the Racers.
In the middle of the fourth the Diamonds brought Sharon Palma in to pitch, and she proceeded to finish the game with a strong pitching effort, allowing no hits and no runs.
The Diamonds finally made their mark in the fifth inning when catcher Rachel Folden hit a two-run home run to center field, bringing the score to 9-2.
Akron Racers’ starting pitcher Kristina Thorson (1-1) improved greatly since opening night, allowing only two runs on six hits, one walk and four strikeouts; making her the game winner.
The Diamonds’ had it rough in the pitching circle today, allowing nine runs on seven hits, three walks, three HBPs and six strikeouts.