Nicole Morgan Dallas Charge Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
McKinney, TX – June 5, 2015 - The Dallas Charge made history yet again on Friday night when they faced the Rebellion for the final game of their first ever series. The two teams had split the first two games, going into the finale, but the Dallas Charge walked away with their inaugural franchise series win and the first shut out in the history of the club. The Charge’s victory also marks the first time in the last seven years an NPF Expansion team has won its opening series.
Nicole Morgan was a key part of the record setting night for the Dallas expansion team, knocking in all three of the Charge runs with two home runs to left field, also a team first. Charge hurlers Vanessa Stokes and Sarah Purvis combined to allow just six hits. Along with the solid defense, they earned the first shutout for the Charge.
After a handful of hits from each team were scattered through the first three innings, the Rebellion made a serious threat in the top of four. The Rebellion’s, Courtney Senas singled and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Alisa Goler. With a runner at third and just one out the Charge defense came up huge. Centerfielder Mikey Kenney, and right fielder Brianna Cherry made back-to-back impressive catches for outs two and three to help strand a Rebellion base runner keeping the game scoreless.
The scoring drought was finally answered in the bottom of the fourth when the Charge catcher Nicole Morgan's first career homerun. Morgan mashed an 0-1 pitch well over the left centerfield fence.
The fifth inning would bring in a pitching change for the Charge, putting Sarah Purvis in for starter Vanessa Stokes. It was her second appearance of the season. With the Rebellion threatening after a two out single followed by a stolen base, hit by pitch, and a walk, Purvis was able to work herself out of the self-imposed jam. Her 2-ball, 2-strike pitch induced a harmless pop up that first baseman Ashley Burkhardt caught for the final out.
Burkhardt got things going for the Charge in the fifth with a one-out line drive double to right center. The hit prompted a Rebellion pitching change bringing Emma Johnson in for Alyson Fournier. After a wild pitch, Burkhardt was able to advance to third, but the Charge were unable to capitalize.
The Rebellion threatened again in the sixth inning with the Charge nursing a 1-0 lead. A lead-off single by Goler, sacrifice bunt and a Charge error in left field, put runners at first and second with one out. A wild double play ended the inning and the chance to score. Sarah Prezioso hit a ground ball the third. Danielle Henderson picked it up and stepped on third for the force, then fired to first base, but the throw was not in time. The Rebelliion’s Ashley Carter, running for Goler, tried to go 1st to 3rd on the play. Burkhardt fired back to Henderson for the final out of the frame.
In the sixth, Morgan made Charge history. A lead-off walk for pinch hitter Kaitlyn Richardson and a sacrifice bunt from Kenney set up Morgan for her second homerun of the night, this time a 2-run bomb to left that just cleared the fence, making the score 3-0 Charge.
With a final chance, the Rebellion threatened for the third time in the game, but once again could not deliver with bases loaded and only one out. A force out at home and a popup to Cherry in right would end the game and earn Purvis the save. Stokes was credited with win.
With Morgan’s two homerun game, she earned player of the game. With her first career homerun, Morgan said “it felt amazing” and “was way over-due.” She also gives credit to the rest of the team for “all hitting the ball really well as a whole.”
After an impressive catch in centerfield to keep the Rebellion from scoring in the fourth inning contributing to the franchise’s first shut out, Kenney said “I think it’s great for us to start off on a winning foot and I hope to just keep it rolling.”
The Charge will take on last year’s NPF Champions the USSSA Pride Saturday night at Dallas Charge Stadium at the Ballfields at Craig Ranch. First pitch is schedule for 7pm CT.
The Dallas Charge will begin competition in the National Pro Fastpitch league in 2015. The Charge will provide elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and inspire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, the Charge organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and professionalism. Follow the Dallas Charge at www.dallascharge.com
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. 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 and has been since 2002.