Kissimmee, FL- July 14, 2015-The USSSA Pride (21-7) picked up the 5-3 victory over the Chicago Bandits (21-9) Tuesday night at Champion Stadium to move into sole possession of first place in the NPF standings. The Pride fell behind in the third inning but rallied back with a five-run fifth frame to record the victory.
Chicago struck first in the game as catcher Vicky Galasso homered to left to lead off the third inning to give the Bandits the 1-0 lead. Chicago scored again when AJ Andrews reached on an infield single then came around to score when the fielding attempt on Emily Allard’s sacrifice bunt attempt sailed over the first baseman’s head, with Allard ending up at third as a result of the error.
Amber Patton drove in Allard to extend the Bandits’ lead to 3-0 with a hot shot single past the third baseman. The Bandits looked primed to score again in the frame with runners on first and second and nobody out but Keilana Ricketts was able to escape after Patton was thrown out trying to steal third followed by a strikeout and a groundout.
Chicago’s Michelle Gascoigne retired 12 of the first 14 batters she faced before running into trouble in the fifth frame. Andrea Duran broke up the no-hitter with a one-out single through the left side and catcher Chelsea Goodacre followed with a single of her own to give the Pride two runners aboard. The top of the order came through in the clutch with two outs as Natasha Watley and Kelly Kretschman each knocked RBI singles followed by the big blast of the inning, a three run home run by Megan Wiggins, giving the Pride the 5-3 advantage.
Neither team scored in the sixth frame and Jordan Taylor (SV, 8) shut down the Bandits in order in the seventh to record her 8th save of the season and preserve the 5-3 Pride victory.
USSSA’s Keilani Ricketts (W, 5-1) notched her fifth victory in the circle this season by scattering four hits over six innings and striking out five. Chicago’s Michelle Gascoigne (L, 4-2) was chased after 4.2 innings after surrendering five runs on five hits. Kirsten Verdun entered the circle and tossed the final inning and a third in hitless fashion.
The game of the series will be played tomorrow, Wed. July 15, at a later time of 8:05 p.m. following the opening ceremonies of the USSSA Fastpitch World Series.
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 the 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.