FRIDAY NIGHT SOFTBALL LIGHTS
Pride Crush Akron in 13-2 Win, Shults Hits First NPF Homerun
Pride: 13 Racers: 2
With 2,828 fans in attendance at Whataburger Park in Corpus Christi, Texas Friday night, Cat Osterman lead the USSSA Pride to a well-earned 13-2 win in the second game of a four-game series against the Akron Racers.
Osterman struck out 12 Racers hitters in six innings, making this game her third straight start with ten or more strikeouts. She allowed only three hits for the night, two of which were to former Pride player Charlotte Morgan, including a solo homerun in the fourth. Her third-inning hit to Ayumi Karino in the third was the first hit Osterman gave up in more than 11 innings since opening night on June 9.
The Pride continued to dominate offensively. Their 13 runs came on 16 hits. Akron starting pitcher Erin Arevalo struggled against Pride hitters, allowing eight runs on as many hits, before Jen Mineau was brought in for relief in the second inning. Exceptional offensive performances came from GiOnna DiSalvatore (2-3) with three RBIs and Francesca Enea (3-4), who scored on a wild pitch in the second.
Rookie Jessica Shults earned her first NPF homerun in the fifth inning, sending a bomb over the center field fence to extend the Pride’s lead to 11. Fellow rookie Blaire Luna made her second relief appearance in the seventh, retiring three straight batters to end the game, a much better performance than the previous night’s outing.
The Pride close out the series with the Racers in a double header Saturday at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. EST. Tune in to ESPN3 or the WatchESPN app for live coverage.
Bandits Blank Comets, 5-0
By Traci Bode
POMONA, New York — All but two Bandits in the Chicago starting lineup recorded at least one base hit and Monica Abbott tossed a four-hit shutout in the first game of a double header Friday night. The Bandits went on to defeat the Comets 5-0 in their first road trip to play the New York/New Jersey Comets, the newest addition to the NPF. The Comets acquired the rights to last season’s Carolina Diamonds after the Diamonds folded following the 2012 season.
Chicago improved to 4-1 on the season with its victory while the Comets fell to 1-4 with its loss.
Angel Bunner started on the mound for the NY/NJ Comets, giving up 11 hits and three earned runs.
Abbott scattered four hits and a pair of walks with 11 strikeouts to improve to 2-0 overall on the season. The shutout was Abbott’s second this season and she has recorded double digit strikeouts in each game pitched.
The Bandits plated two runs in the first after Megan Wiggins and Amber Patton drew a pair of walks and Alisa Goler loaded the bases with a single. Kristen Butler followed suit with a single of her own as the Bandits took an early 2-0 lead. Chicago tacked on another run in the fourth after Kazuki Watanabe reached on an error, Kimi Pohlman hit a single and a single by Wiggins scored Watanabe. Kristen Butler hit a solo shot in the fifth as the Bandits took a 4-0 lead and Eri Yamada hit another homerun, adding another run as the Bandits went on to defeat the Comets, 5-0 in the first game of the doubleheader.
Chicago Holds On To Defeat NY/NJ in Game Two, 9-6
Chicago defeated New York/New Jersey in the second game of the double header Friday with the help of a seven-run third inning, defeating the Comets, 9-6. Chicago improves to 5-1 on the season while NY/NJ falls to 1-5 on the year with its loss.
Michelle Gascoigne made her first career start in the NPF. The last time she started in a game, (June 4, 2013) she won a WCWS title with the University of Oklahoma. Gascoigne allowed eight hits and five Comet runs, while striking out six in six innings of work.
Nikki Nemitz came on in the seventh to relieve Gascoigne and close out the second game of the night. Olivia Galati started for the Comets but was replaced by Taryne Mowatt in the third.
The Bandits jumped out to an early lead in the first inning after Alisa Goler hit a two-out single and Kristen Butler’s double scored her. NY/NJ got its first run of the series in the bottom of the first off an Amanda Kamekona homerun, which tied the game at one apiece.
Chicago used a huge third inning, plating seven runs off eight hits to take an 8-1 advantage. Eri Yamada and Tammy Williams both hit two-run homeruns to highlight the rally. Also recording hits in the big inning were Goler, Brittany Cervantes, Danielle Zymkowitz, Kimi Pohlman and Amber Patton.
The Bandits were held scoreless until the seventh inning when the rookies went to work. (Spy comment: Does someone proof read these releases; how can you say the Bandits were held scoreless until the 7t h when they lead 8-1 in the 3rd?) Maggie Hull came on to hit and singled, she advanced to third and fellow rookie Nerissa Myers singled to drive her home and give Chicago an 8-1 cushion.
NY/NJ showed some life in the bottom of the seventh and gave Chicago a bit of a scare, plating five runs off six hits. Courtney Liddle hit a two-run homerun to spark a rally for the home team. A couple of singles and an error scored a pair of Comets and forced a pitching change as Nikki Nemitz came in to close out the game for the Bandits. NY/NJ plated a couple more unearned runs but the Bandits offensive surge in the third proved to be too much as Chicago went on to defeat the Comets, 9-6.
The Bandits and Comets play again tomorrow night, Saturday, June 15. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. CT.