Li Qi (Beijing Shougang Eagles) Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
Viera, FL (August 8, 2017) – Heading into the end of its first season within the NPF, the Beijing Eagles (3-43) split the doubleheader against a dominating Pride team (36-9), who claimed the 2017 regular season. Although a dominating circle and an almost spotless defensive effort, Shougang stumbled in Game 1, 3-0, but clawed a win in a nail biting Game 2, 2-1.
Taking the circle for Beijing in Game 1, Lan Wang (1-21) faced 28 batters, collecting one strikeout and two walks in seven innings pitched. The Eagles right handed pitcher allotted five hits, taming the USSSA lineup to a .200 batting average. In Game 2, Li Qi (2-11) clutched four strikeouts and allotted solely six hits in seven innings pitched. At the current time, Qi counts 49 strikeouts, 27 walks and 64 hits in 65.2 innings pitched, for an ERA of 4.77.
Defensively, the Eagles record a defensive percentage of .943, with 343 assists and 917 putouts in 46 games played. During the season, Shougang has collected 12 double plays and caught 13 runners stealing. During Game 1, Beijing grabbed 21 putouts and six assists, while in Game 2 grasped 21 putouts and five assists.
In the box, Lu Ying and Sun Xun locked in the win for the Eagles, ending the night with one hit and one RBI apiece.
In Game 1 of the doubleheader, the Pride took over the scoreboard first, grasping three runs to take the lead, 3-0. As second and third went by blank, in the fourth an outstanding play by third baseman Xu Qian Wen stopped the Pride offense from reaching base and closed the inning for the Eagles.
For the remainder of the game, the score remained unchanged and, although placing multiple runners on base, Shougang eventually fell to USSSA, 3-0.
Suffering a narrow loss in Game 1, the Eagles broke through the score in Game 2 when Lu Ying flared a single to center field to put Beijing atop, 1-0. Striking back however, a persistent Pride offense closed the gap in the second to tie the game, 1-1.
In the following four innings, the score remained unaffected but in the seventh Cao Yang brought the Eagles on base with a triple to deep right center. Driving in her teammate at third, Xun punched a single to the left side to clutch the third seasonal win for Beijing, 2-1.
Tomorrow, the Eagles will conclude the 2017 season at the Space Coast Stadium, facing the USSSA Pride at 7:05 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.