Brittany Mack-Oakes (Texas Charge) Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
SAN MARCOS, TX (July 26, 2017) — Brittany Mack-Oakes’ second career no-hitter came at a perfect time for the Charge.
But the timing may have been even better for the right-hander herself.
“I would just say I needed this,” Mack-Oakes said. “Earlier in the week I was having a lot of struggles family-wise, so this was kind of one of the things that helped me kind of get back on my feet. My teammates and my coaching staff have been really great checking in on me and kind of making sure everything is going OK, so this was just exactly what I needed.”
The LSU alum was unhittable Wednesday night in Texas’ 6-1 win against Beijing, as the Eagles’ lone run came as a result of a walk, a hit batter and a throwing error in the top of the fifth.
Mack-Oakes mixed speeds brilliantly throughout the evening and secured the no-hitter by striking out Beijing’s Liu Yi Ning on a curveball in the bottom of the seventh.
“I was actually telling (catcher Kristyn) Sandberg before the game, ‘You know what? I haven’t been throwing in a lot lately,’” Mack-Oakes said. “I did well with that in college and kind of got away from it, so I was thinking, ‘Let’s go back to what I used to do and see what happens.’”
Mack-Oakes was staked to an early lead thanks to an RBI double from Bailey Landry in the bottom of the second. Landry later came in to score on an error, and the Charge (20-19) tacked on another run in the third when Taylor Gadbois raced home following another miscue by the Eagles (2-32).
Beijing sliced into its deficit with an unearned run in the top of the fifth, but Texas responded with three insurance runs down the stretch.
Lauren Haeger provided an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth, and the duo of Landry and Kelsey Stewart each scampered home on yet another Beijing error in the sixth.
Landry finished 3 for 3 with a pair of runs scored to increase her season average to .374, while Stewart, Haylie McCleney and Renada Davis each collected two hits.
Mack-Oakes capped her night with five strikeouts and was able to work around three walks. She said after the contest that the defensive effort was a key part of preserving her no-hitter.
“The girls did great,” Mack-Oakes said. “Haylie made two great plays back-to-back and one of those was hit pretty hard out there and I just thought, ‘Oh, I made a mistake on that one,’ and she saved me. The infield played fantastic and had a lot of great scoops and I couldn’t ask for a better defense.”
Beijing’s Wang Lan was charged with the defeat after tossing six frames and allowing six runs — four earned — on 11 hits.
Following Wednesday’s win, Texas will have two days off before traveling to Conroe to open a two-game series against the Scrap Yard Dawgs. Saturday’s opener is set for 7:05 p.m. at the Scrap Yard Sports Complex.
The Texas Charge are an affiliate professional fastpitch softball team competing in the National Pro Fastpitch league. The team, headquartered in New Braunfels, TX, began competition in the league in 2015. The Charge provides elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and inspire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Austin area, the Charge organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and professionalism. Follow the Texas Charge at www.texascharge.net
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 NPF affiliate teams consist of the Akron Racers, Beijing Shougang, 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.