Orlando, Fla. – The USSSA Florida Pride and the Akron Racers were not only battling each other this weekend, they were battling the weather as well. Coming into the series with a game to be resumed, the two teams were already behind on the elements. They caught up on the series after Friday night’s contest, but were again put behind when threatening thunderstorms caused Saturday’s double header to be postponed, cancelling the first game and pushing the second one back to this morning at 9:30 am.
Desiree Serrano began in the circle for the Pride, pitching five scoreless innings before giving way to relief pitcher Cat Osterman, who, across two innings struck out five and gave up no hits. Lisa Norris shouldered the loss for the Racers, allowing two runs on four hits.
The Pride struck first in the bottom of the third when a single from Kelly Kretschman allowed Natasha Watley, who had led-off the inning with a double to the left-field gap, to score. Watley scored again in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single from Jessica Mendoza.
The Pride took the 2-0 victory, giving them a secure lead on the series going into the day’s regularly scheduled contest.
With Serrano in the circle for the second start of the day and Jamee Juarez starting opposite her, the two teams went head to head for the final game of the regular season.
The Racers started off with a bang when lead-off hitter Lisa Modglin laced a solo home-run past the left field fence, giving the Racers their first early lead of the series. After two errors on the Pride and an intentional walk, the Racers marked two more runs, scored by Jess Valis and Crystl Bustos.
The Pride answered back in the bottom of the inning with two runs scored. A sacrifice fly from Megan Willis drove across Andrea Duran and an error on Francesca Enea’s at-bat allowed Amber Flores to cross the plate before the inning closed.
The Racers marked another run in the top of the third when an RBI single from Samantha Ricketts pushed Jackie Pasquerella, who had reached on a single, across the plate. A ground-out to short from Crystl Bustos retired the side.
Charlotte Morgan scored the third run for the home team in the bottom of the fourth when she led-off the inning with a solo home-run ripped past the center field wall. Three quick outs ended the inning.
The score held through the completion of the contest, giving the Pride its first loss of the weekend with a 4-3 final score.
The USSSA Florida Pride will take to Sulphur, La. next weekend for the 2010 NPF Championship series as they fight for the 2010 NPF title.
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.
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).
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!