Emily Crane Photo by Jade Hewitt Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
Kansas City, MO (July 12, 2016) – The Dawgs played game two against the USSSA Pride, wrapping up their time in Kansas City on their extended road trip.
The Dawgs were the designated home team for game two of this Pride series, led by the former Texas A&M battery catcher Meagan May Whitley with Rachel Fox in the circle to throw. The duo was put to the test early as the Pride ended the top of the first inning with a hit up the middle from leadoff Megan Wiggins, who later stole second. This was followed up by a line drive to Dawgs shortstop Christian Stokes from Kelly Kretschman to put one away. Shelby Pendley poked one through the right side to move Wiggins to third, who would score on a sacrifice fly from Lauren Chamberlain (1-0). A long ball shot to center field by Hallie Wilson resulted in another run scored for the Pride by Pendley (2-0).
Kansas native and home crowd favorite Kiki Stokes ignited the Dawgs offense in the bottom of the second with a shot in the 5-6 hole to reach first base safely. A lightning quick Breja’e Washington laid down a bunt, followed by second baseman Nerissa Myers, who cracked one into center field to load the bases. An RBI single on a fielder’s choice from Emilee Koerner put the Dawgs on the board (2-1). Concordia Alum Amanda Fama continued the hit rally with a hard shot up the middle. The Dawgs quickly struck again when veteran Madison Shipman reached base on an error, while bringing in Myers to tie up the game (2-2).
In the top of the second inning, a shallow hit to left field by USSSA’s Amanda Kamekona would put one runner on for the Pride. A sacrifice bunt by Kirsti Merritt resulted in the first out of the inning for the Dawgs as Fama swiftly threw the ball to first base. The Pride got back on track with a stand up double from Courtney Ceo to score Kamekona, putting the Pride ahead for the second time in the game (3-2). Catcher May Whitley stayed strong behind the plate, throwing out Ceo in an attempt to steal third. The side was retired as Fox got Wiggins to fly out to right field.
The Dawgs exploded in the bottom of the second with a leadoff homer from Emily Crane (3-3). The momentum continued as K. Stokes hit a stand up double with the help of Washington, Myers, and Koerner to bring up Fama, who blasted a three-run bomb (6-3), which is her second of this extended road trip for the Dawgs. The Pride looked for pitching relief in Oklahoma All-American Keilani Ricketts to cool off the hot bats of the Dawgs in the bottom of the third inning, which she did with back-to-back strikeouts to K. Stokes and Washington.
Crane did it all in the top of the fourth, snagging three pop ups in a row and making it look easy. A base hit put Myers on first, followed by a blooper in front of the plate from Koerner, which allowed Myers to advance. She instantly took advantage when Pride catcher Chelsea Goodacre had a passed ball to put another run on for the Dawgs in the bottom of the fourth (7-3).
Through the fifth, a groundout and fly out from Ceo and Wiggins, respectively, brought up Kretschman, who is currently leading the league in three different offensive categories. Kretschman smacked one into the 5-6 hole and, despite an incredible defensive effort from C. Stokes at shortstop, safely reached first base. Pendley stepped in and hit her second double of the night, easily scoring Kretschman from second (7-4). A routine fly out to Crane ended the inning. The bottom of the fifth for the Dawgs started with a line drive to center field from May Whitley to restart the Dawgs momentum. Unfortunately, they could not continue the streak and ended the inning with no runs and one hit.
The Dawgs put in a different battery, made up of Monica Abbott in the circle with two-time national champion Florida Gator Taylore Fuller, for relief after an outstanding five-inning performance from the duo of Fox and May Whitley. Entering with runners on first and second, an illegal pitch call moves the runners (Wilson, Ricketts) to second and third as Abbott got Kamekona to hit an RBI pop fly to Crane for one out (7-5). A two-run double from Wiggins tied the game 7-7, but Abbott ended the inning with a strikeout to Kretschman. With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Myers stepped up, blasting a double to left-center field. She was a perfect 4 for 4 on the night but the side was retired after a ground out to first base by Koerner.
In the top of the seventh, a strikeout to Pendley and groundout to C. Stokes quickly put two away for the Dawgs. Hallie Wilson reached second on a throwing error, but Abbott came right at Ricketts, getting her to pop up to left field to keep the score even. After a fly ball to right field was caught off of the bat of Fama, Lexi Overstreet stepped into the box, replacing first baseman Shipman. Strikeouts to Overstreet and Fuller sent the game into extra innings.
The first of extra innings proved to be all business for the Scrap Yard Dawgs, with a three up, three down outing to Kamekona, Merritt, and Ceo. After a groundout by C. Stokes, a speedy Crane beat out a hit up the middle towards the right side. A hot shot off the bat of K. Stokes soared to left field, but landed in the glove of Pride player Kirsti Merritt for two outs. Crane, helping the Dawgs in any way she can, jets to second on a steal and slides in safely to put the Dawgs in scoring position. Breja’e Washington comes in clutch with a walk off hit, reaching first on a throwing error that scores Crane for the win (8-7).
The Dawgs will travel to Chicago next to take on the Chicago Bandits at the Ballpark at Rosemont in a two-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.
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.
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA.
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About the Scrap Yard Dawgs:
The Scrap Yard Dawgs will begin competition in the National Pro Fastpitch league in 2016. The Dawgs will provide elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and inspire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Houston area, the Dawgs organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and professionalism. Follow the Dawgs at www.scrapyarddawgs.com or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF):
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series. The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.
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