Beijing Shougang Eagles Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
Viera, FL (July 15, 2017) – After travelling to Texas, the Beijing Eagles (1-24) hit the road to Florida once again to face the Akron Racers (16-14) and the USSSA Pride (22-6) at the Space Coast Stadium. In the Saturday outing, Shougang fell short during the first game against the Racers 9-1, and tumbled Game 2 to USSSA, 12-0.
From the pitching staff, three different pitchers took the circle for the Eagles. Former Wildcat Nancy Bowling (0-4) opened up the day for Beijing, facing 26 batters in 5.1 innings pitched during Game 1. In her performance, Bowling recorded three strikeouts and allotted two walks. In the Eagles 2017 leaderboard, Bowling ranks third for strike percentage (59.8), as well as for strikeouts with 15 total. Appearing in Game 2 as starting pitcher, Wang Lan (0-12) confronted 23 batters in four innings pitched. Wang is currently ranked first among all the pitching categories within the Beijing leaderboard, as she leads with an ERA of 3.8, striking percentage of 70.3 and 46 strikeouts total.
At the plate, Chen Jia led the Shougang firepower recording two hits in the Saturday doubleheader. Among the 2017 NPF leaderboard, Chen takes fifth place for batting average with a .356 percentage, and holds a seasonal slugging percentage of .441. In the 24 games played, Chen seized 23 hits, three of which were doubles and one being a triple, for an on base percentage of .387.
In Game 1, the Eagles trailed for the first two innings, after Akron grabbed two runs in the top of the first to take the lead, 2-0. In the third, the Racers snatched two more runs to overlap Beijing, 4-0.
However, the Eagles decreased the gap in the home offensive half, as Yuan Huai Ning delivered a perfectly placed squeeze bunt to allow Liu Fei Fei to cross home safe, putting the Eagles on the scoreboard, 4-1.
In the fifth, Akron reached the board once more with one run to enlarge its stretch, 5-1. As the sixth came around, the Racers bats imposed themselves upon the Shougang defense, clawing four runs and increasing its lead, 9-1. In the remainder of the game, the Eagles fought hard placing runners on base, but eventually fell to Akron, 9-1.
Game 2 saw the Pride break through the score first, as the Viera-based team clutched five runs in the top of the first, overlapping the Eagles, 5-0. In the second, USSSA struck again and increased its lead, 7-0.
As the third went blank for both dugouts, the Pride enlarged its stretch once more in the fourth, grasping two extra runs to put USSSA ahead, 9-0. After a scoreless fifth and sixth, the Pride reached the scoreboard again in the seventh, driving in three more runners to move past Beijing, 12-0.
The Beijing Eagles will be back on the field tomorrow to face the Akron Racers at the Space Coast Stadium. First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. EST.
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.