NPF Championship Friday
August 19 2011
Thursday Recap: Modified Report on Game 1
Game 1 of the Pride/Diamonds series was halted after 2 innings, with the Pride leading 4-0. Spy reported the first two innings. The NPF adjusted schedule indicated that the game would be resumed at 330pm Friday. Spy received this report on the resumed game at 1155pm:
Sulphur, LA – The regular season NPF Champion and defending Cowles Cup Champion USSSA Florida Pride and the NPF Diamonds opened their best of 3 series on Thursday night, but after 2 innings the game was postponed until Friday afternoon because mother nature decided to put on a magnificent lightning show at the National Pro Fastpitch Championship Series at McMurry Park. The game was stopped with the Pride holding a 4-0 advantage in what looked to be a dominating performance by the series number 1 seed.
Day 2 took on a different tone as the Diamonds were impressive in all aspects of the game, Kristen Schnake started the scoring out for the Diamonds with a solo blast to left center in the 5th followed by a 6 run 6th inning to take a 7-4 lead. The Diamonds faced 3 Pride pitchers, starter Danielle Lawrie was pulled in the 6th for Jordan Taylor who was later replaced by the NPF Co-Pitcher of the year Cat Osterman who pulled the Pride out of a jam. The Pride has their chances to score but Jami Lobpries robbed the Pride of a few runs with a diving catch with 1 out and the bases loaded to hold the Pride scoreless in the bottom of the 5th and give the Diamonds a great boost of confidence heading into the 6th.
Then in the bottom of the 7th the Pride showed the softball world that they were for real as Megan Willis drove in the game winning run as the Pride escaped Game 1 with an 8-7 win. Danielle Spaulding gave it all she had in the circle for the Diamonds in a losing effort.
USSSA Pride 7, NPF Diamonds 0 (Game 2)
Superb effort by Pride’s Sarah Pauly, who hurled a complete game 1-hitter with 10 Ks.
Pride broke a scoreless tie with 2 runs top 3rd. Mewgan Willis and Andrea Duran drew walks off starter Megan Gibson. Natasha Watley ground out, but Willis scored on Kelsey Bruder’s strikeout. Duran scored on Jessica Mendoza’s single.
Top 4th: after Francesca Enea and Ashley Charters went down, Kelly Kretschman singled, Megan Willis doubled. Duran walked, loading the bases. Watley singled in 2 runs. Bruder singled, rbi. 5-0.
Mendoza opened the Pride 5th with a single, scored on Charlotte Morgan’s double. Charters singled, pinch runner Jenn Salling scored. 7-0.
Danielle Spaulding relieved Gibson in the 7th. The Diamonds went down in order.
Sarah Pauly threw 103 pitches, including 67 strikes, the one hit by Aja Paculba.
Pride earns right to play for Cowles Cup (NPF report)Sulphur, LA – They dominated all season long, so why would tonight be any different. The USSSA Florida Pride continued their domination here Friday night at the National Pro Fastpitch Championship Series at McMurry Park in Game 2 of their best of 3 series with the NPF Diamonds with a 7-0 win to advance to play for the NPF Championship and the chance to keep the Cowles Cup in Kissimmee. After pulling out a last inning win in game 1 of the series earlier in the day the Pride left no doubt in softball fans minds as they earned the right to play for softball glory this weekend.
Sarah Pauly went the distance for the Pride giving up only 1 hit and striking out 10. “Pauly threw a great game, hats off to her, she kept us off balance all night”, said Diamonds left fielder Jami Lobpries. Pauly had a no hitter going into the bottom of the 6th before A a Paculba’s lead off single. “Our pitching is deep, we have two all NPF pitchers in Danielle Lawrie and Cat Osterman, but Sarah is throwing as good as anyone right now”, added Pride head coach Tim Walton.
The Pride scored 2 in the 3rd inning before opening the gap in the 4th on a Natasha Watley 2 RBI single and added 2 insurance runs in the 5th to seal the deal for the NPF regular season champions. The Pride opens the championship round tomorrow night at 7pm in an attempt to repeat as champions. With the other semi-final between the Chicago Bandits and Akron Racers still to come tonight with game 2 of their series, Walton didn’t seem to worry about which team his Pride would face, “it doesn’t matter who we play tomorrow night, we will prepare the same way we have all season” said the Pride skipper. The Pride has been playing with the bullseye on their back all season long, a challenge the Pride has embraced. “Pressure is a privelege, everyone expects us to win, and I wouldn’t want it any other way” said Pride left fielder Jessica Mendoza.
The Championship Round begins at McMurry Park at 7pm Saturday night and continues on Sunday with a 1pm start for game 2. Game 2 will be televised live on ESPN2. Get your NPF Championship Series tickets at www.profastpitch.com.
Chicago Bandits 7, Akron Racers 4 (Game 2)
NPF press release
Nemitz blasts Bandits into Championship Round
Sulphur, LA – For the second day in a row the nightcap was decided the day
after it began at the National Pro Fastpitch Championship Series being held at
McMurry Park. But this time there were no lightning storms in the area, just an
extra inning thriller that ended with a sonic boom off the bat of Bandits
utility player Nikki Nemitz. Nemitz took a Lisa Norris pitch to left center
with 2 on to break the 4-4 tie shortly after the midnight hour as the Bandits
eliminated the Akron Racers by a 7-4 score.
Chicago led 4-3 in the 6th before Racers catcher Samantha Marder tied the game
4-4 with a solo home run. From there, Bandits relief pitcher Monica Abbott and
Norris began a 2 1/2 inning pitching duel before Nemitz broke the silence. “It
was picture perfect” said Nemitz about her walk off home run, “I was just trying
to put the ball in play”.
The Bandits win sets up a rematch of last years championship round as the 3rd
seed Bandits now have to face the top seed USSSA Florida Pride. Game 1 of the
Championship series gets underway at 7pm Saturday at McMurry Park.
Don’t miss a single pitch of the championship round. Buy your tickets at the
gate or visit www.profastpitch.com.