Alexis Bennett (Scrap Yard Dawgs) Photo By Jade Hewitt Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
Conroe, TX (July 1, 2017)- Round two of the Scrap Yard Dawgs and USSSA Pride was claimed by the Pride, who used a three-run fifth inning en route to the 4-3 win at the Dawg Pound on Saturday. The win gives the league-leading Pride its fifth straight series win.
The victory is also the Pride’s sixth straight, with its last loss coming to the Dawgs on June 17.
But the Dawgs didn’t go down without a fight and had a shot to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. Allexis Bennett chopped a single to right for her second hit of the night. Bennett leads the Dawgs in hits with 22 on the year. She was caught stealing second off a perfect throw by Pride catcher Chelsea Goodacre. Brittany Cervantes was struck by a pitch to put another runner aboard for the Dawgs. Though ending the night hitless, Cervantes drew two big walks to propel the offense. Pride pitcher Jolene Henderson got Nerissa Myers to strike out and Taylor Edwards to line out to end the game.
The two teams traded punches in the first inning, each pushing across a run to knot the score at 1-1. For the Pride it was Kelly Kretschman once again who gave Dawg pitching fits. In the opening frame, the league leader in batting average laced a base hit to right center for the first hit of the game. Sierra Romero followed suit with a single to left and Kretschman advanced to third on a Dawgs throwing error. The University of Alabama product scored when Lauren Chamberlain poked a ball to left for the RBI single. The former Oklahoma Sooner went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs for the Pride.
With two outs in the bottom of the opening frame for the Dawgs, Cervantes drew a walk and Edwards did the same to put two on for Hannah Flippen. The USA Women’s National Team member’s blooper popped out of the glove of Pride centerfielder Megan Wiggins, allowing Cervantes to score.
It was Alisa Goler in the bottom of the third who helped the Dawgs take a 3-1 lead. Nerissa Myers opened the inning with a monster fly ball that hit the wall in left center for the double. The Louisiana-Lafayette product extended her hitting streak to five games. Cervantes drew a walk and Edwards’s ground ball advanced Myers and Cervantes to second and third base. Flippen drew the walk to load the bases for Goler, who took advantage and guided a ball past the diving Shelby Pendley to score Myers. Cervantes also scored after sliding under the tag of Goodacre.
The Pride offense responded in a big way in the top of the fifth inning, pushing across three runs to reclaim the lead, 4-3. Kirsti Merritt started the inning with a base hit to left. The hit would be the end of the road for Dawgs pitcher Rachel Fox. The Texas A&M product allowed two runs on five hits, striking out three in four innings of work. Merritt stole second and third – scoring when the put-out attempt was mishandled – to cut the lead to 3-2.
Kretschman then launched a ball over the right field wall off pitcher Monica Abbott - who entered in relief of Fox – to even the score at 4-4. Romero extended the inning after being hit by a pitch and Chamberlain got her second RBI of the night off a line drive to left to score Romero.
The was all the offense the Pride pitching would need, limiting the Dawgs to six hits on the night. Henderson grabbed the win, not allowing a run in five innings of work. The former Cal-Berkley Bear struck out four and walked one. Abbott was charged with her first loss of the season, allowing two runs on three hits. She struck out seven.
The Dawgs and Pride face off again Sunday with a start time of 7:05p.m.
* Attendance: 320
* Game Time: 2:12
*Vaultz® Lock It Up® Player of the Game: Kelly Kretschman (USSSA Pride)
The Scrap Yard Dawgs began competition in the National Pro Fastpitch league in 2016. The Dawgs provides 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.
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2004, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Akron Racers, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Chicago Bandits, Scrap Yard Dawgs, Texas Charge and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2017 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada and China among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.