Orlando, Fla. – One home run can make all the difference in a game. This concept has been illustrated time and time again this weekend as the USSSA Florida Pride took on the Tennessee Diamonds at the UCF Softball Complex in a three game series. For the first game, it was a grand slam from Charlotte Morgan that secured the victory. The second contest saw Amber Flores with the grand slam, pushing the home team to a win. In today’s contest, it was Morgan once again whose three RBI home run in the bottom of the fifth, coupled with an RBI double from Kelly Kretschman allowed the Pride to take the contest and the series in a 5-3 win.
Sarah Pauly started in the circle for the Pride and allowed three runs on eight hits, striking out six and walking only two. Shouldering the loss for the Diamonds was Megan Gibson, who allowed five runs on three hits and walked five.
For the second time this series, it was Chelsea Spencer who allowed the first run to be scored for the Diamonds in the top of the first, with an RBI triple that drove in Amanda Williams who had reached on a walk. Spencer then advanced to third on a throw from centerfielder Jessica Williams. A sacrifice bunt from Gibson followed and allowed Spencer to score, giving the visiting team an early two run lead at the close of the inning.
The Diamonds threatened again in the top of the second when singles from Shannon Doepking and Shanel Scott and a walk issued to pinch hitter Angeline Quiocho left the bases loaded for Williams’ at bat. Pauly was able to hold the score however, striking out Williams in six pitches.
Spencer led off the top of the third for the Diamonds, and for the second time on the series, laced a solo home-run past the center field fence to score her second run and second RBI of the contest. Gibson followed and made it aboard on a single, then advanced on a sacrifice bunt from Loryn Johnson, but she was left stranded after flyouts from Doepking and Shanna Diller.
The Pride tied it up in the bottom of the third off of the second home run of the series from Charlotte Morgan, this one driving in runs from Jessica Williams and Kelly Kretschman, both of whom reached on a walk. A fly-out to right field from Amber Flores retired the side.
The bottom of the fifth saw the Pride steal away with the lead. A lead-off single from Williams followed by a walk from Melissa Roth put the Pride in position to score on second. A double from Kretschman gave the Pride the go ahead run, scoring Williams and advancing Roth to third. Morgan came to the plate next and a sacrifice fly to right field brought in the second run of the inning from Roth and marked Morgan’s fourth RBI of the contest. A quick ground-out from Flores ended the inning with the Pride leading by two.
The Diamonds attempted to rally with runners threatening in both the top of the sixth and the top of the seventh, but the game ended in a pop-out from Loryn Johnson, brilliantly caught by shortstop Amber Flores in foul territory.
With the victory, the Pride ends the series 3-0 and are now 9-3 on the season. The Pride takes to the field next for a five game series against the Akron Racers in Akron, Ohio. The first contest is slated to begin Thurs., July 1 at 7:05 pm EST.
The USSSA Florida Pride joined the NPF as a franchise Team in November of 2009, operated by Florida Pride LLC. USSSA managed the Pride Team during 2009, culminating their inaugural season with a second place finish in the Championship Series. USSSA Florida Pride is sponsored by USSSA, the world’s largest amateur sports association, and is headquartered in Kissimmee, Florida.
About USSSA Florida Pride:
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.
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 United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!