Anissa Urtez (Scrap Yard Dawgs) Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
Conroe, TX (July 23, 2017) - The Scrap Yard Dawgs sure like late-inning heroics.
This time it was rookie Anissa Urtez’s double off the left field wall in the bottom of the seventh to score Kayla Winkfield for the walk-off win against the Akron Racers, 7-6 on Sunday.
The win gives the Dawgs the two game sweep of the Racers, as well as its tenth win in 11 games.
The former Utah Ute in Urtez took a pitch from the Racers Megan Betsa and ripped it to the wall in left center – just barely staying in the park – to score Winkfield from second base. The RBI was her second of the 2017 season. Winkfield’s infield single began the rally in the final frame. Britt Vonk’s sacrifice moved Winkfield over to second.
In the circle for the Dawgs, Cheridan Hawkins got the win in relief, not allowing a hit in 1.2 innings of work. The former Oregon standout struck out one. Betsa took the loss for the Racers.
But the win didn’t come easy for the Dawgs. After the Dawgs took a 5-3 advantage in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Racers answered right back when Megan Geer tagged a deep fly ball and over the Dawgs logo in centerfield for the three-run home run. The homer gave the Racers a 6-5 lead. Geer’s bomb scored Nicole Schroeder, who was hit by a pitch to begin the sixth – and Kelley Montalvo who singled up the middle to reach base.
The Dawgs went right back to work offensively in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 6-6. Brittany Cervantes smacked a two-out double into the gap in left center for her second double of the game. Taylor Edwards muscled a base hit to center for the RBI single, but was called out attempting to take the extra base after the Racers throw to home. The former Kentucky Wildcat in Cervantes went 4-for-4 on the day and is currently riding a five-game hitting streak. The Racers pitching staff just hasn’t had the answer to Cervantes – the Chatsworth, Calif. native went 6-for-6 in the two game series.
With the game tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Dawgs were able to string together some offense to help take a 5-3 advantage. Cervantes opened with frame a single to left side of the outfield. Edwards then roped a double down the third base line for the single and to move Cervantes to second base. Katiyana Mauga drew a walk to load the bases for Winkfield, whose ground out scored Cervantes to take a 4-3 lead. The Dawgs tacked on one more run after Edwards’s hook slide at the plate went just out of reach of Racer’s catcher Griffin Joiner for the 5-3 lead. Vonk’s grounder scored Edwards.
The Dawgs chipped away at the 2-0 lead in the bottom half of the opening frame. Nerissa Myers drew a leadoff walk to start the game, extending her on-base steak to 12 games. Myers has managed to reach base in 29 of 31 games in 2017.
After a fielder’s choice put Alexis Bennett on board, Cervantes guided a base hit to left to move Bennett over 60 feet. Edwards ripped a single up the gut to put Bennett at third. Mauga’s sacrifice fly was just deep enough to score Bennett to cut the lead to 2-1. The University of Arizona product’s RBI was her fifth of the year.
Cervantes has had a hot bat as of late for the Dawgs and was able to drive in Myers in the bottom of the third inning to tie the score at 2-2. Myers opened the inning with a ground ball to second base, beating the throw to first for an infield single. Mauga was able to score Cervantes when her line drive bounced just in front of Geer in right field to help the Dawgs take a 3-2 lead.
That lead did last long as the Racers were able to tie the game at in the top of the fourth. Shellie Robinson opened the frame with a bloop single to right field. After a fielder’s choice put Montalvo on first base, Geer drew a walk to put runners on first and second for the Griffin Joiner. The University of Kentucky product singled up the middle to score Montalvo even the score at 3-3.
Morgan Melloh started the game in the circle for the Dawgs, allowing five runs on six hits in 5.1 innings of work. The former Indiana Hoosier struck out four and walked one.
The Dawgs head up to the Windy City for three games against the Chicago Bandits on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Beijing-Shougang Eagles pay a visit to the Dawg Pound for a series against the Dawgs on Friday. First pitch on Friday in the first game of a twin bill is set for 5:30pm CT.
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.