Kissimmee, FL–August 16, 2014–It took until the last game of the season, but the USSSA Florida Pride clinched the 2014 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) regular season title with a 5-1 victory against the Pennsylvania Rebellion Saturday night at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, FL. The Pride lost game one of the doubleheader Saturday 4-1 then turned around and won game two to clinch their first place seed. With the win, the Pride ended the 2014 NPF season with a 32-16 record and a first place seed in the NPF Championships in Hoover, Alabama. As the one seed, the Pride will face the fourth-seeded Rebellion in the championships.
In game two, the Rebellion got on the board first when Lauren Lappin singled to center field scoring Kourtney Salvarola. Then, in the bottom of the second Amanda Kamekona hit a solo homerun to center field to tie the game at 1-1. GiOnna DiSalvatore hit a RBI single to left field to score pinch runner Sharonda McDonald and put the Pride up 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth. One batter later Megan Willis hit a ground ball to first base and with a great slide at home, Kelly Kretschman slid around Nicole Morgan’s tag at home to make the game 3-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, Brigette Del Ponte hit a two-run homerun deep to left field scoring Breja’e Washington, who had just tripled, and put the Pride up 5-1. Cat Osterman, who came in during the fifth inning, closed out the Rebellion offense and sealed the 5-1 victory and regular season title.
Blaire Luna (2-0) picked up the win as she threw two innings and allowed no runs on one hit in relief. Chelsea Thomas got the start and gave up one unearned run in two innings. Osterman threw three innings in relief and allowed no hits while striking out six. Dallas Escobedo suffered the loss after giving up three earned runs in 3.2 innings. Anna Miller threw the remaining 2.1 innings and gave up the two earned runs on Del Ponte’s homerun.
In game one Saturday, the Rebellion struck first as they scored two unearned runs in the top of the first inning. Brittney Lindley singled to center field to lead off the game. After a double to left field by BB Bates, Bianca Mejia’s single down the third base line scored Lindley. Two batters later Mandy Ogle hit a ground ball to second base that scored Bates from third and put the Rebellion up 2-0.
The Pride answered in the bottom half of the first as Washington led off with a bunt single and Caitlin Lowe laid down a sacrifice bunt. Washington advanced to third on the bunt and then scored when the throw got by the third baseman.
In the top of the fourth, Sarah Prezioso reached on an error by Madison Shipman with one out. The next batter Brianna Hamilton singled to center advancing Prezioso to third. Starter Danielle Lawrie struck out Ashley Carter but Carter reached first on a dropped third strike and Prezioso scored on the play. The next batter, Lindley, then singled to left field to score Hamilton.
Rebellion starter Bryana Walker (1-1) went the complete seven innings and allowed one unearned run on five hits. Lawrie (2-2) suffered the loss as she went five innings and allowed 4 runs, two of which were earned, on seven hits while striking out eight. Jordan Taylor came in the last two innings and allowed no runs on no hits while striking out four.
This marks the first time since 2012 that the Pride have clinched the regular season title and first place seed. The Pride and Rebellion will play game one of the best-of-three series on Wednesday, August 20th at 8:00 PM. Game two will be played Thursday at 8:00 PM and the if-game will be played Friday at 1:30 PM. For more information and to purchase tickets for the 2014 NPF Championship visit the website at www.npfchampionship.com.
Game One Box Score: Click Here
Game One Score: Rebellion 4, Pride 1
Game Two Box Score: Click Here
Game Two Score: Rebellion 1, Pride 5
Records: Rebellion (9-39), Pride (32-16)
Next Game: vs Pennsylvania Rebellion at Met Stadium in Hoover, Alabama at 8:00 PM
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.