The USSSA Pride experienced a bit of deja vu Saturday night with a seventh-inning rally to defeat the Chicago Bandits 3-2 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista.
Much like Friday night's game, the Pride (19-11) and Bandits (16-15) spent a lot of the game with a tied score, but the Bandits' errors piled up, eventually costing them the game.
The Pride hit well from the start of the game, but Bandits outfielder Megan Wiggins made two spectacular diving catches to stop the Pride's momentum. Wiggins also contributed heavily to the Bandits' offense, scoring a homerun in the third inning to give the Bandits the lead, 1-0.
Outfielder Kelly Kretschman scored in the fourth inning on a RBI from Megan Willis to tie the game. Kretschman walked in the next inning with the bases loaded, bringing Natasha Watley in for a 2-1 lead. The Pride were then left with the bases loaded with one out but were unable to capitalize on the situation and headed into the sixth inning with a one-run lead.
The Bandits tied the game again in the sixth inning on another homerun, this time by Alisa Goler. Neither team was able to score in the bottom of the sixth or top of the seventh and the Pride and Bandits headed to the bottom of the seventh in a situation almost exactly the same as Friday.
Jessica Mendoza was once again the catalyst for the Pride's rally, reaching third base when Bandits pitcher Monica Abbott overthrew first base. The Bandits then intentionally walked Kristyn Sandberg and Kelly Kretschman, leaving the bases loaded with no outs. Tonya Callahan came in to pinch hit and was hit in the face by Abbott, which walked Mendoza in for the third run.
Pride pitcher Danielle Lawrie (5-2) had an excellent outing, allowing three hits and two runs and striking out nine batters. The Bandits, on the other hand, continued to struggle with pitchers. Chanda Bell started the game, but pitched only 3.2 innings before she was pulled. They then brought in Nikki Nemitz, who only saw one out before being pulled.
Abbott (9-3) got the loss for the game after walking five batters, including hitting Callahan, and only striking out three.
The Pride lead the series against the Bandits 3-0, and lead the NPF by 3.5 games. The two teams finish up the series tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.
About National Pro Fastpitch:
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002. www.profastpitch.com.