Series Preview: USSSA Pride and Akron Racers Head Back to Firestone

Cat Osterman leads the NPF with 79 strikeouts and stands at 5-2. Photo by Kit Mohr.

Cat Osterman leads the NPF with 79 strikeouts and stands at 5-2. Photo by Kit Mohr.

Kissimmee, FL- The USSSA Florida Pride are heading back to Firestone Stadium to take on the Akron Racers in a four game series starting on July 7th. The first two games will be played on the seventh as a double header, the first DH of the 2015 season for the Pride.

The last time these two teams played, the Pride were able to secure game one of the series with a final score of 6-2. The Racers didn’t let up though and in two very close games they took the following pair of games to get the series win. Since then the Pride have completed three more series and have won six out of eight games. With these wins the Pride improve to 12-6 and stand in second place, three games behind the Chicago Bandits, while the Akron Racers stand in third place at 12-10.

First pitch for game 1 of the DH is set for 11:05 AM (ET) while first pitch for game 2 is set for 7:05 PM (ET) on July 7th. First pitch for games 3 and 4 are also set for 7:05 PM (ET). Stay tuned for any updates on where to watch or listen live to this series against the Racers.

Follow the Pride all season long on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all game or team updates.

Pride Players to Watch:

  • Megan Wiggins had a tremendous offensive night during game one of the series against Akron. Wiggins hit 2 home runs, one in the third and one in the 7th, against Lisa Norris and totaled 4 RBI that night for the Pride win. On the season Wiggins is hitting .383 and has 4 home runs with 18 hits. More than once, Wiggins has provided that clutch hit to bring in the deciding run, not only against the Racers but when the Pride need it.
  • Kelly Kretschman has not slowed down this season; she is batting .383 and has 24 hits on the season, number one on the Pride. Against the Racers, Kretschman went 5 for 10 (.500) with 1 HR, 1 RBI and one double, she also leads the Pride with three doubles on the season.
  • Cat Osterman, although the Racers gave Osterman her first loss since 2013, she was 18-0 in the 2014 NPF season, she managed 12 strikeouts and held the Racers to two earned runs. Cat still leads the NPF with 79 strikeouts and stands with an opposing batting average of .131. Osterman holds a 5-2 record for the 2015 season.
  • Shelby Pendley helped lead thePride offense in game one with a two run single in the top of the first that placed the Pride up by two. Pendley is first on the USSSA Pride with 9 runs scored, tied with Wiggins and has 13 hits on the season.

Akron Players to Watch:

  • Taylor Schlopy: Schlopy delivered in the last series against the Pride. The fifth year NPF player went 5 for 8 (.625) with 3 RBI and a home run for the series against the Pride. Schlopy also delivered the game-winning hit in the final game of the series to give the Racers a one-run advantage heading into the 7th inning and ultimately the win.
  • Kelly Montalvo is another Racer to look out for offensively. Montalvo went 3 for 8 (.375) in the last series against the Pride with one double and 1 RBI. Montalvo brought in the second run on a sacrifice fly that brought in the second run of the 2-0 shutout against the Pride.
  • Sarah Pauly put on a stellar pitching performance against the Pride in game 2 against the Pride. In seven innings she held the Pride to no earned runs and only 5 hits. Although she only managed 5 strikeouts in seven innings pitched she was able to shut out the Pride and get the 2-0 win.

Fun Facts:

  • This series features two former Georgia players, one on the Pride roster Megan Wiggins and one on the Racers roster Taylor Schlopy. Both Wiggins and Schlopy played on the Georgia roster from 2008-2011. They graduated in 2011.
  • This series features the first of three double headers of the 2015 season. The last double header for the Pride was on August 16, 2014, the final game of the regular season. The Pride only won the second game but it was enough to earn them the title of 2014 NPF Regular Season Champions with a 32-16 record.
  • In the last series played from June 21st-June 23rd, the Akron Racers totaled 19 hits while the USSSA Pride managed 17 hits but the Pride pitching staff managed 21 strikeouts over the three games while the Racers totaled 11.

For tickets to the series visit usssapride.com or akronracers.com. You can also purchasetickets at the gate of Firestone Stadium located at 1575 Firestone Parkway, Akron, Ohio, 44301.

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.

 About NPF:

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.

About USSSA:

USSSA is 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.

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