Kissimmee, FL. - July 16, 2015 - Chicago (22-10) scored in the first and last innings but the night belonged to the USSSA Pride (22-8) as they defeated the Bandits 6-5 Thursday evening at Champion Stadium.
Both teams started off the night swinging the bat well, as each team scored in the first frame. Chicago’s Amber Patton singled to left and two batters later Taylor Edwards gave the Bandits the 2-0 lead by bending her team-leading fifth home run of the season around the left field foul pole. The Pride got one run back in the bottom of the inning as Natasha Watley singled to lead off the inning and Brigette Del Ponte doubled her home with a one-hopper off of the center field fence.
Chicago used three pitchers in relief of Kristen Verdun in the third inning as the Pride sent nine batters to the plate, scoring four times. Pitchers Tatum Edwards (L, 3-3) and Sara Moulton each issued an RBI walk and Michelle Gascoigne allowed a two-run pinch-hit single to Lauren Chamberlain before recording the final out of the frame.
The Pride added an important insurance run in the fourth on Megan Wiggins’ RBI double to the left center, scoring Watley and pushing the score to 6-2.
Chicago mounted a comeback in the seventh inning pulling to within a run after Tammy Williams’ three-run home run with two outs before Jordan Taylor struck out Edwards to end the game at 6-5 and notch her ninth save of the season.
The Pride’s Cat Osterman (W, 9-2) picks up the victory after tossing five innings of three-hit softball. She struck out five on the night. Kirsten Verdun started the game and allowed a pair of runs on two hits in two-plus innings before making way for Tatum Edwards.
The Pride will be back in action Saturday at Champion Stadium when they will host the Pennsylvania Rebellion. The game is set for a 8:00 p.m. start.
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.
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level, and the roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May-Johnson and Tammy Williams. The two-time NPF Champions, who are owned by Bill Sokolis, play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women's professional team. The 2015 season will be the Bandits 11th season in the NPF.
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.