Kissimmee, FL-June 10th-The Pride took game one of the four game series against the Scrap Yard Dawgs in their 2016 season opener in front of a huge Texas crowd of 1,632 fans. Player of the game, Chelsea Thomas, improved to 1-0 on the season following a combined no-hitter with Pride rookie Kelsey Nunley who came in relief in the bottom of the 7th to shut down the Dawgs.
“I felt really good, we’ve been doing a lot of scrimmaging in our spring training and I think that’s helped a ton, I mean our team can hit and being able to face our batters really prepares us for the season and then tonight for Nunley to come in there and shut down the last two batters for a rookie that’s huge and I can’t wait for her to get her shot. We have a lot of new faces on the Pride this year and it’s just, this is a great start to the season I’m so excited,” commented Chelsea Thomas.
Scrap Yard took an early offensive advantage in the first. Following a few walks from Thomas, who had a combined nine on the night, Amanda Fama reached on a fielding error that brought in Crane for an unearned run to put the Dawgs on the board 1-0.
Following a slow offensive start, the Pride fought back in the 4th with a Kretschman lead-off bunt to record the first hit of the game. Shelby Pendley followed suit with a hard hit single to the left side to place runners on first and second. GiOnna DiSalvatore tied the ball game with an RBI single to left for her first hit of the season.
Pride rookie Kelsey Stewart led off the fifth with a hard single to left off Abbott in her NPF debut. Courtney Ceo added her first bunt of the season to place Stewart in scoring position with last year’s player of the year Kelly Kretschman at the plate. Kretschman picked up right where she left off last season and doubled to center to bring in two runs and place the Pride in the lead (3-1).
Chelsea Thomas kept the Dawgs offense at bay through six with five strikeouts, but the Dawgs threatened in the 7th with two runners on with one out. Rookie Kelsey Nunley came in for Thomas and closed out the Dawgs with her first strikeout on the season and ended the game with a fly out to first.
“Our team’s really excited, [about the win against Abbott], we just gotta build from here. What really matters is the last couple of games of the season so it’s really good to come out and hit her like this and get to build on that in the future.”
The Pride take on the Scrap Yard Dawgs tonight for game two of the four game series at 8PM (EST).
USSSA Pride: 3 Scrap Yard Dawgs: 1
Player of the game:
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.