Starkville, Miss. – A hot start from the Pennsylvania Rebellion was too much for the USSSA Pride to overcome in its home opener Friday night at Nusz Park, home to Mississippi State University. A four-run second allowed the Rebellion to jump on top early and never look back en route to a 6-2 victory.
Five Rebellion hits led directly to four runs in the top of the second after a scoreless first inning by both sides. In her return to Starkville, rookie Kayla Winkfield raked a two-run double to cap the inning in her second at bat of the night.
The visitors added two more in the fourth on a long ball from shortstop Brittany Gomez, pushing the Rebellion lead to 6-0.
Hallie Wilson made her presence felt in the home half of the sixth with a solo homer to right to snap the shutout and cut the deficit to five. Another extra base hit, this time off the bat of Kirsti Merritt extended the inning for the Pride and chased Rebellion starter Miranda Kramer from the circle.
Kramer remained in control of the Pride offense for a majority of the night, allowing just one run on seven hits and no walks along with having struck out three in 5.2 innings of work.
With two away in the seventh, Megan Wiggins stepped to the plate and duplicated Wilson with a solo shot, this time to straightaway center that brought the score to 6-2.
Haylie Wagner closed the door in the seventh to cap her 1.1 inning outing in which she allowed just one hit via the solo home run.
Keilani Ricketts suffered the loss for the Pride, allowing all six Rebellion runs on eight hits in 5.0 innings. Hannah Rodgers relieved Ricketts and was perfect in 2.0 innings to close the game, having struck out two.
Winkfield was named POWERHANDZ Player of the Game. She went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBI and a stolen base.
USSSA Pride: 2
Pennsylvania Rebellion: 6
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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 USSSA: 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.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF): National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series. The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball