ROSEMONT, Ill. –  The 2012 NPF season began for the Pride as a rematch of last season’s NPF Championship Series, and the Pride would get on the scoreboard first. Pride second baseman Ashley Charters lead off the contest drawing a walk. USSSA would lead 1-0 in the top of the first after a Bandits error by Vicky Galindo allowed Charters to advance home.

The Bandits came out swinging with a hot start in the bottom of the first with a double from Amber Patton.  Tammy Williams then hit an RBI single to score Patton and tie the game.  Kristen Butler floated a single over the shortstop to bring home another run to give the Bandits the lead.  At the end of the first, the Bandits held a 3-1 lead over the Pride.

The offense quieted down after the first inning as Bandits pitcher Monica Abbott continued to hold the Pride without a hit.  Butler gave the offense a bit of a spark as she led off the bottom of the fourth with a shot to left field, advancing to third on an error.

Vicky Galindo flew out to center field allowing Butler to run home to give the Bandits a 4-1 lead.

Francesca Enea got the Pride’s first hit of the night in the top of the sixth with a drive to left field putting an end to Abbott’s no hitter.  The hit didn’t bring Abbott down as she struck out three of the four batters she faced in the sixth, bringing her strikeout count to eight.

The Bandits had all the runs they needed to close out the game for a 4-1 victory to open the season.  Abbott led the team as she completed the game with 10 strikeouts while giving up only one hit. The Pride and the Bandits play game 2 of the series at 7:35 ET you can watch live on USSSA Pride.com.

STATS:

Monica Abbott (CHI): 7IP, 1H, 1R, 10K, 3BB

Sarah Pauly (USSSA): 6IP, 5H, 4R, 4K, 2BB

Kristen Butler (CHI): 1-3, 1B, RBI

Amber Patton (CHI): 1-3, 2B

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:

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!