Kelsey Nunley (USSSA Pride) Photo by: Maggie Bowles Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
BATON ROUGE, LA (August 18, 2017) – The USSA Pride posted two runs in the bottom of the sixth after the Chicago Bandits had tied the game in the top of the inning to score a 3-1 victory that propelled the Pride into the NPF championship series against the Scrap Yard Dawgs.
The Pride and Dawgs will begin their best of three series on the LSU campus at Tiger Park at 7 p.m. Saturday with game two set for 1 p.m. on Sunday. If a third game is necessary it will be played at 4 p.m.
The Dawgs eliminated the Akron Racers earlier in the evening in two straight games.
The Pride broke through the pitching duel in the bottom of the fifth as Hallie Wilson opened with a single through the right side and advanced to second on a wild pitch. A Kirsti Merritt single moved Wilson to third and she would eventually score on a sacrifice fly to left field to give the regular season champs a 1-0 lead after five innings.
Then the Bandits, playing for their tournament life and no hit through the first five innings, opened the inning with Sammy Marshall doubling to left field. She advanced to third as the Pride left fielder was unable to handle the ball. On the very next pitch after Angel Bunner came in to relieve starter Kelsey Nunley, Brenna Moss tripled to drive in the tying run.
But the Pride put the winning runs on the board with two outs in the bottom of the sixth after it looked like a leadoff walk to Sierra Romero would go wasted. Lauren Chamberlain hit a 1-2 pitch to right field for a triple that scored Romero. Hallie Wilson would then follow with an infield single to shortstop that drove in an insurance run.
Wilson and Merritt had two hits each for the Pride.
Bunner picks up the win by going two innings and giving up just the one hit with two strikeouts (8-1). Shelby Turnier takes the loss in two innings of relief, giving up three hits and two earned runs (3-7).
Game Time: 1:54
Vaultz® Lock It Up® Player of the Game: Lauren Chamberlain (USSSA Pride)
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.