AKRON, Ohio - Facing elimination, the Rockford Thunder turned to their ace Cat Osterman and the pitcher delivered the type of big performance that her team needed. Osterman led the Thunder with a complete game shutout performance outdueling Pride ace Monica Abbott 2-0. Osterman struck out 13 Pride hitters while only allowing five hits in seven innings of pitching. The win gives Osterman her third victory of the playoffs as she has earned all of her team's wins. She has given up only two runs in four starts for Rockford.
Abbott matched Osterman pitch for pitch through most of the game, but herself and the Pride faltered late in the game. With the game scoreless in the top of the sixth inning, Lyndsay Angus lined a single to right field for Rockford, when right fielder Kelly Kretschman bobbled the ball Chelsie Mesa was able to wheel all the way from first to score the first run of the game. The Thunder added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Megan Willis blasted a home run to left field to give Rockford a 2-0 lead.
Abbott picked up the tough loss for the Pride going seven innings while allowing two runs, one earned, with four hits and a walk while striking out eight batters.
The battle for the Cowles Cup comes down to one more game between the Thunder and Pride set for approximately 4:00 PM Sunday afternoon.
Tickets for the Championship series are available by calling the Akron Racers Box Office at 330-376-8188 or online at ticketreturn.com. Fans who can't come to Akron can WATCH LIVE through NPF's partnership with MLB.com.
Friday, August 21st:
Playoff Game #1 - Bandits 1 vs. Pride 0
Playoff Game #2 - Racers 1 vs. Thunder 0
Playoff Game #3 - Bandits 1 vs. Pride 2
Playoff game #4 - Thunder 5 vs. Racers 1
Saturday, August 22nd:
Playoff Game #5 - tie-breaker between the Chicago Bandits 0 and USSSA Pride 2
Playoff Game #6 - tie-breaker between the Akron Racers 2 and Rockford Thunder 7
Championship Game #1 - Pride 4 vs. Thunder 0
Sunday, August 23rd: Gates will open at 9 am
Championship Game #2 - Thunder 2 vs Pride 0 CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS - 4:00 pm (TIE-BREAKER if necessary)
Tickets for the Championship games will be priced as follows for EACH game:
$8 - Stadium Seating/Cambria Suites Bleachers/Terrace Seating
$9 - VIP Seating
A post-game trophy and championship MVP Award Presentation will follow upon conclusion of the championship game with the Cowles Cup being presented to the 2009 NPF Champion.
How to Watch
Fans unavailable to make the trip to Akron, Ohio to catch the Championship Series in person can tune in from home. All games will be streamed via profastpitch.com thanks to NPF’s partnership with MLB.com. Bernie Guenther will handle the play-by-play action. Live statistics will also be available via Gametracker. Go to the “Live-Games” page for Broadcast and Gametracker links and WATCH LIVE!
To purchase tickets, call the Akron Racers Box Office at 330-376-8188 or go Ticket Return.com.