USSSA Pride Florida vs Dallas Charge Crowd Photo By Chris Florence Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
Kansas City, KS, June 11, 2015- A 2-run home run by Megan Wiggins was not enough to lift the Pride tonight, as they were defeated by the Dallas Charge for the first time in five tries, 5-2, in front of an outstanding crowd of 4,500 fans, many of them young softball players. The top of the 4th inning was all the Dallas Charge needed, as they scored four runs while sending all nine batters in the lineup to the plate.
The first inning and a half was relatively quiet with only one batter reaching for both teams combined. In the bottom of the second, Andrea Duran got things going with a 4-pitch walk. 2014 All-NPF player Megan Wiggins did not disappoint in her first career game as a member of the Pride, deposing an 0-2 pitch over the wall in right to give USSSA a 2-0 lead. Lauren Chamberlain and Chelsea Goodacre both added a hit in the inning but were left on base as a Shelby Pendley screamer was caught by Ashley Burkhardt in right field.
Hannah Rogers, the Pride’s starter in the circle, surrendered a lead-off double to Renada Davis to start the game. After giving up the lead-off double, Rogers was virtually unhittable for the next few innings, retiring the next nine Charge batters in a row. The tide seemed to turn in the top of the fourth as the Charge’s right fielder Eri Yamada worked her first of two walks on the night. Lauren Haeger followed up with a single up the middle. Rogers seemed to have gained her command back while getting Nicole Morgan to pop up. That would not be the case as Taylor Thom laid down an RBI suicide squeeze in which all runners were safe. After a Mikey Kenney walk, Danielle Henderson stroked a ball off of the fence to clear the bases and put the Charge up 4-2, a lead they would never relinquish.
Dallas Charge pitcher Vanessa Stokes got all three batters in the next inning to fly out, including a towering fly ball by Lauren Chamberlain to start the inning. Reliever Lauren Haeger continued the trend, not allowing a single base runner for the next two innings.
The Charge brought home another run in the top of the seventh by virtue of a single in the gap by one of the hottest hitters in the league, Nicole Morgan. A hit by Thom that was destined for the gap was denied by none other than Wiggins, who’s full extension diving catch was her second potential Sports Center top ten play of the night.
In the Pride’s last chance to stage a comeback, Lauren Chamberlain and Amber Freeman were not able to get anything going. Chelsea Goodacre brought life back to the Pride faithful, poking a ball just out of the reach of Thom at second base. That was all the momentum the Pride could muster, as Shelby Pendley made the final out of the game.
The Pride will look to get back to their winning ways tomorrow night at 8:05 EST as they finish the two-game Kansas City, Missouri series at Community America Ballpark.
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.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquarted 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 name 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.