Bridgette Del Ponte Photo by Gary Leland Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
Kissimmee, FL-July 22, 2014- A pinch hit grand slam by Brigette Del Ponte lead the USSSA Florida Pride past the Akron Racers 5-2 in game one at ESPN Wide World of Sport Complex in Kissimmee, FL. Down 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Del Ponte launched the high, inside pitch deep over left field to put the Pride on top for good.
“I felt really confident going into the box and wanted to get the ball to the outfield somehow to score a run. Luckily the ball ended up going over the fence!” said Del Ponte on her grand slam.
Taylor Schlopy put the Racers on top 1-0 in the second inning with a leadoff, solo homerun to center field. After reaching base with a leadoff single, Ayumi Karino scored in the third on a fielder’s choice ground ball to first base by Nerissa Myers. Scholpy and Karino both ended the day going 2-3.
Akron’s starter Rachele Fico kept the Pride offense in check until the fourth when the offense once again exploded for a big inning. In the bottom of the fourth, Andrea Duran and Madison Shipman lead off the inning with back-to-back singles. The next batter, Kristyn Sandberg, was then hit by a Fico pitch to load the bases. Two batters later, pinch hitter Amanda Kamekona hit a ball to left field that was misplayed by left fielder Jill Barrett allowing Duran to score from third. That set the stage for Del Ponte’s pinch hit grand slam to put the Pride on top 5-2. Caitlin Lowe and Shipman both ended the day with two hits a piece. Del Ponte ended the day with 4 RBIs.
Danielle Lawrie (2-0) got the start and the win for the Pride after going 5.2 innings and allowing one earned run. Lawrie recorded six strikeouts while allowing four hits and walking one. Jordan Taylor struck out three in 1.1 innings of relief. Fico (7-6) suffered the loss after giving up 4 earned runs in 4 innings.
The Pride and Racers return to action for the second game of the series on Friday, July 25 at 7:05 PM EDT at ESPN Wide World of Sports. For tickets visit www.usssapride.com or purchase tickets at the gate. The game will be live streamed on www.usssalive.com/pride.
Site: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex - Kissimmee, FL
Score: Racers 2, Pride 5
Records: Racers (15-18), Pride (24-8)
Next Game: Friday, July 25 at 7:05 PM EDT at ESPN Wide World of Sport Complex in Kissimmee, FL.
About Akron Racers
The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, OH, are the oldest existing team in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. The Racers competed in the Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL) for two seasons in 1999 and 2000 and in the NPF since 2004. Historic Firestone Stadium is home to the Racers and numerous amateur events at all levels of play. The Racers kick-off their 13th season of play in 2014.
About USSSA Florida Pride
The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
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.