AKRON, Ohio - The Rockford Thunder captured their first Cowles Cup at Firestone Stadium on Sunday afternoon crowning them the 2009 NPF Champions as they defeated the USSSA Pride 2-0 in the final game of the season. Rockford climbed back from a 1-0 deficit and near elimination to win both of their series on the weekend and become champions.
Cat Osterman led the way with her second complete game shut out of the day only allowing the Pride to have one single and a walk on the day. Between the two games on Sunday, Osterman struck out an amazing 26 batters and only gave up four hits. For the tournament, Osterman struck out 50 batters in 31 innings in five starts, pitching 31 of her team's 41 innings.
The only player to get on for the Pride in game three was Oli Keohohou who drew a walk and hit an infield single that bounced off of Osterman's glove in the fifth inning.
The Thunder picked up enough offense for Osterman against tough pitching by Sarah Pauly and Monica Abbott. Leadoff hitter Shanel Scott got Rockford going right away with a hit to left field just past a diving Kristin Schnake. Scott would eventually score on a sacrifice bunt by Lyndsey Angus to give Rockford a 1-0 lead. For good measure, Chelsea Spencer added another run when she blasted a towering shot that soared over the center field fence for a solo home run.
The home run would be the last pitch Pauly threw as the Pride turned to Abbott, who shut down Rockford's offense the rest of the way. Abbott gave up a signle to the first hitter she faced, but then retired 12 of the next 13 hitters to close out the game. Even though Abbott kept the Pride close, Osterman wouldn't allow the Pride offense an opportunity to get back in the game.
Following the Championship Game, Osterman was announced as the MVP of the NPF Championship Sereis presented by The Game after picking up all of her team's victories. The Thunder ace only gave up an astonishing two runs, one earned, in her five starts of the tournament.