The USSSA Pride defeated the Akron Racers 9-1 in a rain-threatened blowout Thursday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.
The game got off to a good start early, with the Pride (21-11) scoring the first two runs in the first inning. Natasha Watley started the game off with a single and was followed up by Caitlin Lowe, who was called out at first, but advanced Watley. Jessica Mendoza hit a RBI single to bring Watley in for the first run of the game. Kristyn Sandberg advanced to first after being hit by a pitch and Kelly Kretschman followed her on an error by Racers first baseman Nicole Trimboli, making the bases loaded. Ashley Charters hit a RBI single to bring in Mendoza, but was caught stealing on the next play, ending the inning with a Pride lead 2-0.
The Racers (13-20) closed the gap a bit in the third, with a run from Sharonda McDonald on a Brianna Hesson RBI, making the game 2-1 Pride.
The Pride solidified their lead in the third inning, starting with a single by Lowe. Mendoza walked, followed by a Sandberg out that advanced the runners. Kretschman walked, loading the bases. Charters then hit a 3-RBI double, bringing the score to 5-1.
The Pride tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, one each from Andrea Duran and Lauren Lappin. Charters hit a triple deep into center field for an RBI in the fifth inning and followed it up with a run of her own to make the lead 9-1.
Pride pitcher Cat Osterman (6-4) struck out 12 and allowed three hits and only one run in her win.
Racers pitcher Erin Arevalo (1-3) allowed eight hits and seven runs in the loss, before being replaced by Hillary Bach in the fourth inning.
The Pride and the Racers continue their series on Friday at 7 p.m. at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.
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.