Kirsti Merritt (USSSA Pride) courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
Viera, FL (August 5, 2017) – After suffering a short lightning delay, the USSSA Pride (33-8) faced in another duel the Scrap Yard Dawgs (29-15) on Friday night at the Space Coast Stadium. In a game troubled by inclement weather, USSSA prevailed upon the Houston based lineup and clutched Game 2 of the series, 3-1.
Locking her seventh seasonal win, Jolene Henderson (7-2) recorded a shutout in 4.1 innings pitched, and collected one strikeout and one walk, while allotting solely two hits.
Henderson currently counts 51 strikeouts in 59.2 innings pitched, and holds an ERA of 1.77. In the NPF leaderboard, the former Cal Bear sits in the fourth spot for shutouts with two. In her second season within the National Pro Fastpicth, the Pride right-handed pitcher is also ranking sixth within the USSSA leaderboard for striking percentage, with an average of 66.05.
Entering the fifth as a reliever, Angel Bunner (6-1, 1) contained the Scrap Yard lineup, pitching 2.1 innings and limited the Dawgs to four hits and one run. Bunner holds an impressive striking average of 67.08, the sixth beast among the league leaderboard. Under her belt, Bunner has 27 strikeouts and 11 walks in 48.1 innings pitched for a 1.21 ERA. Jordan Taylor (1-1, 12) closed the game for the Pride with a stellar performance, clutching her 12th save of the season and confirming her second spot in the NPF pitching leaderboard for ERA with an outstanding average of 0.88.
In the box, Chelsea Goodacre and Kirsti Merritt combined to lead the Pride offense, clutching one homerun apiece and driving in the three winning runs. Goodacre recorded her eighth seasonal bomb, taking the fifth place in the NPF homerun leaderboard. The Pride catcher currently holds a batting average of .275 with 25 RBI, for 31 hits and a slugging percentage of .477. Fellow teammate Merritt sits in fourth place among the USSSA leaderboard for hits with 33, totaling a batting average of .314 with 13 RBI and a slugging percentage of .461.
Starting off the game with a blank scoreboard in the first and second, the Pride burst in the third, as Goodacre went deep and delivered a solo shot behind right field to put USSSA ahead, 1-0. Although a brief rain interruption temporarily delayed the game, the Pride enlarged its stretch in the fourth, where Merritt blasted her fourth seasonal homerun to roll past the Dawgs, 3-0.
For the fifth and sixth, the score remained unchanged. However, the Dawgs rallied back in the bottom of the seventh, grabbing one run to close the gap, 3-1. Taking the circle with runner at first and second, Taylor wrapped up the game for the Pride and fastened the win, 3-1.
Next up, USSSA will conclude the last game of the series against the Scrap Yard Dawgs on Sunday evening, with the first pitch starting at 7:05 p.m. EST
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.
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.