NPF JULY 2 UPDATE
Diamonds Rally and Win with a Walk Off Homerun
Asheville, NC- The Carolina Diamonds overcame a sluggish offensive start to win their 3rd straight on a walk off 2 run home run from Bianca Mejia.
The Diamonds winning streak has been characterized by falling behind early and this game was no different. Carolina starter Sara Plourde surrendered a 1st inning home run to Sam Marder then a Aja Paculba single scored a run in the 2nd to leave the Diamonds in familiar territory, trailing 2-0 after an inning and a half.
Akron’s Lisa Norris gave up only 1 hit through the first 4 innings of Carolina Hitters. The change came in the 5th when Rachel Folden crushed an 0-1 fastball over the fence in dead center field. Rookie Kelsi Weseman then matched Folden’s at bat with a home run to right center to cut the Akron lead to 1 at 3-2.
Interim Head Coach Lisa Navas went through 4 Carolina pitchers tonight, with Sharon Palma coming in for the 7th and getting the win. Danielle Spaulding also pitched in with 2 innings of no-hit ball in the 5th and 6th.
Trailing 3-2 in the 7th, the Diamonds started their rally with a liner into center for a single from Rachel Folden, who was then replaced on the basepaths by Angie Quiocho. Little did the Diamond coaching staff know that the pinch runner wouldn’t be necessary. With 1 out, Shortstop Bianca Mejia blasted a deep fly ball to right center, over the fence and just barely out of the reach of Racers’ center fielder Lisa Modglin for a walk off home run.
The Diamonds winning streak now stands at 3, as they are a perfect 3-0 under Interim Head Coach Lisa Navas. The standings have suddenly tightened up as Akron and Carolina are now tied for 3rd place. The 2 will face off again tomorrow, July 2nd at 7pm to decide who goes home in 3rd place.
Chicago Bandits Sweep Series With USSSA Pride
ROSEMONT, Ill. – Sweeping any team in a four game series is difficult at any level, but the Chicago Bandits had exactly that opportunity Sunday evening at the Ballpark in Rosemont. Behind strong pitching, defense and more timely hitting by Megan Wiggins, the Bandits did just that, taking Sunday’s game by a 3-1 score.
The Pride’s Natasha Watley wasted no time opening the game with a double,; however Nikki Nemitz was able to retire the next three batters, giving the Bandits the momentum going into the bottom of the first.
The Bandits picked up where they left off in yesterday’s game as Amber Patton walked, stole second and was brought home off a single by Alisa Goler.
Danielle Zymkowitz hit a single up the middle to open the second and after Vicky Galindo walked, Megan Wiggins brought home both runners with a single. With that hit, Wiggins improved her RBI total to ten on the year.
Brittany Mack started on the mound for the Pride, but after giving up three runs, she was replaced by Cat Osterman in the second.
The Pride threatened in the top of the fourth after Jessica Mendoza walked and Kelly Kretschman reached safely on a bunt. However, Amber Patton made a pair of nice plays at third, recording all three outs, holding the Pride scoreless heading into the top of the fifth.
Lauren Lappin scored the one and only Pride run in the top of the fifth and heading into the final two frames, Chicago owned a 3-1 advantage.
Monica Abbott came in for the save in the top of the sixth. The Pride threatened again, placing runners on first and second, but Abbott was able to strike out Lauren Lappin and Patton made another big play at third, catching a line drive off the bat of Natasha Watley to end the inning.
Abbott was able to set down the Pride in order in the seventh to seal the sweep for the Bandits and run their record on the season to a league-best 13-3.