Viera, FL (June 20, 2017) – Lightning was not the only thing rocking the Space Coast, as the USSSA Pride (25-6) thundered past the Chicago Bandits (16-16) on a rainy Thursday evening at the Space Coast Stadium. A solo shot in the second by Lauren Chamberlain opened up the score for the Pride, who remained ahead for the entire game and ultimately topped the 2016 Cowles Cup Champs, 3-0.
After the game, the Pride and the Bandits united to participate in “So You Think You Can Hit?”, a fundraising idea for pediatric cancer research created and carried on by former Wolverine Jordan Taylor, who is also the founder of the FIGHT- charity program for C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. All the money will be donated to Emma’s Art Cart and Mott Children’s Hospital, for more information fans can visit the website victors.us/Jordan_for_Mott.
Keilani Ricketts (7-3) took the circle for the Pride and collected eight strikeouts against 21 batters faced within 5.1 innings pitched, while allotting no walks and four hits for no runs. The 2013 USA Softball Collegiate pitcher of the year is currently one of the most dominating pitchers in the league, as she sits in first within the 2017 NPF leaderboard for strike percentage, counting a 71.0 average. With her seventh win, Ricketts accumulates an impressive 1.4 ERA garnished by 49 strikeouts and solely 8 walks in 50.0 innings pitched. Entering in the sixth as a reliever, Kelsey Nunley (6-1, 1) closed the game for USSSA and earning a save, recording two strikeouts and only one hit in 1.2 innings pitched.
Going 2-for-3 with two RBI, Chamberlain led the USSSA offense, and enlarged her seasonal home run record by two, recording her sixth and seventh home run in back-to-back appearances. The NCAA All-Time Home Run Record holder has one of the highest slugging percentages within the NPF, as she currently counts a .627 percentage. Moreover, Chamberlain counts 21 RBI, the third best in the Pride leaderboard. With her .277 batting average, the former Sooner has collected 23 hits, eight of which are doubles.
USSSA struck first in the second, where a solo bomb by Chamberlain brought the Pride on the scoreboard, 1-0. As the third came around, Sierra Romero increased the Pride stretch with a triple down the right field line to drive Kelly Kretschman home and put USSSA ahead, 2-0.
In the home offensive half of the fourth, USSSA number 44 went yard, delivering another solo shot behind the left field fence to further enlarge the Pride lead, 3-0. As fifth and sixth went by blank for both lineups, in the top of the seventh Courtney Ceo made an extraordinary diving catch towards the third base dugout and the Pride quickly wrapped up the last Bandits offensive frame to fasten its 25th seasonal, 3-0.
The Pride will now hit the road and travel to Rosemont, Ill. to face the Chicago Bandits on Saturday evening at the Ballpark at Rosemont. Dugouts will line up at 8:35 p.m. CT.
Vaultz® Lock It Up!® Player of the Game: Lauren Chamberlain (USSSA Pride)