ROSEMONT, IL (June 14, 2019) – The USA Softball Women’s National Team opened the 2019 season with a 6-1 win over the Chicago Bandits before dropping a 7-3 decision to the USSSA Pride.
A leadoff single by Reed followed by a two-run long ball by Aguilar quickly put Team USA up 2-0, but three singles and a pair of hit batters in the bottom of the second eliminated that lead as the U.S. trailed by one.
A two-out rally by the U.S. offense in the top of the third looked to tie up the game as a single by Rachel Garcia put one on base with two outs. Garcia legged out a ground ball to safely reach second on a fielder’s choice and a walk to Shelby Pendley loaded the bases before a strikeout ended the threat with no runs crossing the plate.
In their next at-bat, Team USA tied up the ballgame after a leadoff walk to Kirsti Merritt. A grounder advanced Merritt to second base for Stewart, who drove a ball to the left field fence for a standup double to allow Merritt to score.
A four-run fourth inning by the Pride would ultimately prove difficult to overcome for the U.S. Utilizing four singles, a double and a sac-fly, the Pride jumped to a 7-3 lead that would hold through the remaining three innings of play.
Keilani Ricketts suffered the loss for Team USA, pitching the first four innings before Ally Carda entered in the fifth.
Team USA is set for another doubleheader on Saturday, June 15. First up, a 3 p.m. CT rematch against the USSSA Pride followed by a 7 p.m. contest against the Chicago Bandits.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2004, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Aussie Peppers of Minnesota, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Canadian Wild of Southern Illinois, Chicago Bandits, Cleveland Comets, and USSSA Pride. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada, China, and Mexico, and represent the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.