Rosemont, ILL- Alisa Goler has been chasing the season home run record of Stacy May-Johnson all season.
With May-Johnson back in the dugout, Goler did her best impression of her new teammate, hitting a walk-off home run to give the Bandits a 6-5 victory. The blast capped off a 5-2 rally in the seventh inning.
In her first game out of retirement, it didn’t take May-Johnson very long to acquaint herself with Rosemont Stadium.
With the Bandits down 4-0 in the bottom of the sixth, May-Johnson launched a two-run home run over the left field wall, cutting the lead in half, and making her presence felt in the lineup.
She finished 1-for-3 on the night.
Pride pitcher Danielle Lawrie was tough all night on the Chicago bats, holding the Bandits to just two runs through the first six innings. In the seventh, the Bandits came alive.
Caitlin Lever singled and crossed home after an Amber Patton triple into the left-center gap. Two errors by Andrea Duran at third allowed Patton to score and cut the lead to 5-4, putting Megan Wiggins on first base with just one out.
After Danielle Zymkowitz popped out, Goler launched her NPF-leading 11th home run of the season, putting her two behind May-Johnson’s 2008 record of 13.
Prior to the excitement, USSSA took the early lead in the top of the first after a two-out double by Jessica Mendoza. Charlotte Morgan drove Mendoza in to grab the 1-0 lead.
Chicago would have its chance in the first as well but would fail to score with runners on second and third. Danielle Zymkowitz reached base with a one-out single and Alisa Goler moved her to third with a double.
In her first at-bat of the season, May-Johnson went down on strikes and Tammy Williams followed with a hard fly out to right field to end the threat.
Alisa Goler hits a walk-off home run in the seventh inning (photo by Dina Kwit).
Lawrie and Donna Bourgeois would pick up the pitcher’s duel until the sixth inning, when the Pride offense struck again. Morgan started the charge again, reaching base via a Williams error at shortstop.
Francesca Enea roped a double to right-center, moving pinch runner Kelsey Bruder to third. The next batter, Ashley Charters, cleared the bases with a triple, giving the Pride a 3-0 lead. Charters would be driven in two batters later by a Caitlin Lowe RBI single to go up 4-0.
Bourgeois saw her night end in the top of the sixth with two outs, the bags packed full of Pride runners, and Mendoza at the plate. Jamee Juarez took the circle in relief and promptly struck Mendoza out.
The Pride added one more run in the top of the seventh to pad their lead at 5-2 but Lawrie could not hold on in an attempt to grab win No. 10 on the season.
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!