Kissimmee, FL. – July 13, 2015 - The USSSA Pride (20-7) moved into a tie atop the NPF standings with Chicago after its 5-2 victory over the Bandits (21-8) Monday evening at Champion Stadium. The Pride’s Cat Osterman turned in a strong performance in the circle and Megan Wiggins and Shelby Pendley went a combined 5-5 at the plate with two homers and five RBIs in the victory.
The Pride jumped out to an early on and never looked back. Natasha Watley and Kelly Kretschman led off the bottom of the first inning with walks and Megan Wiggins followed with a double down the left field line, scoring Watley and advancing Kretschman to third. Madison Shipman drove in the second run of the inning with an RBI groundout to double the Pride’s lead, 2-0.
Chicago snatched a run back with a two-out third inning rally. Kelsi Jones reached on Osterman’s only walk of the night and came around to score after singles by Emily Allard and Amber Patton.
Leading off the fourth inning, USSSA’s second baseman Shelby Pendley worked the count full then blasted her fourth home run of the year to extend the Pride’s lead to 3-1.
The Pride tacked on two more insurance runs an inning later, pushing the score to 5-1. Kretschman reached with one out on a fielding error by the second baseman. The Pride capitalized on the Bandits miscue one batter later as Wiggins connected with her fifth home run of the year over the center field fence. Wiggins went 3-3 on the night with three RBIs, finishing a triple shy of the cycle.
Chicago’s offense wasn’t finished just yet as catcher Taylor Edwards led off the seventh frame with her team-best fourth home run of the season. Osterman settled back down after that, retiring the next three batters in order to close out the 5-2 complete game victory.
Cat Osterman (W, 8-2) struck out twelve batters and held Chicago to two runs on four hits over the seven frames to pick up her league-leading eighth victory of the season. Chicago’s Lacey Waldrop (L, 2-3) was tagged with the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits in her six innings in the circle.
These two teams will play the second game of this four game series tomorrow night, Tuesday, July 14, at Champion Stadium, ESPN Wide World of Sports with first pitch slated for a 7:05PM toss.
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 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.