Natasha Watley

Kissimmee, Fla. – As the rain cleared over Central Florida, the USSSA Florida Pride took to the UCF Softball Complex to face off against the Tennessee Diamonds for the third game of a four game series. Sarah Pauly worked well in the circle, allowing only one run on five hits, walking only two and striking out five and secured the win for the Pride in a 9-1 victory.

For the third night in a row, the Pride drew first blood. Kelly Kretschman, who had reached on a single, came across the plate first after two consecutive walks from Diamonds pitcher Becca Heteniak. A dropped third strike on Francesca Enea’s at-bat scored Charlotte Morgan, who had reached on a fielder’s choice. A foul-out from Megan Willis retired the side.

The home team continued their lead in the bottom of the third when Jessica Mendoza, who led-off the inning with a single, scored the third run of the inning on a single from Tonya Callahan. A single from Andrea Duran followed and drove in Charlotte Morgan, who had reached on a walk. Francesca Enea stepped up next and laced a hit to the left field gap, driving in two more runs from Callahan and Duran. A fourth consecutive single from Willis, the fifth of the inning, scored Karli Hubbard, on to pinch run for Enea. After a sacrifice bunt from Lauren Lappin, the Pride was in position to score again with Willis on second, but she was thrown out on a scoring attempt on a Watley single. Kretschman followed, reaching on a single and scoring Watley. The inning closed on a line to first from Mendoza but not before the Pride had secured itself an eight run lead.

The Pride’s ninth run of the contest was scored in the bottom of the fourth on a walk from Willis, scoring Jessica Williams. Two outs followed to retire the side.

The Diamonds scored their lone run off of a triple from Chelsea Spencer, driving across Jenna Rhodes who led off the inning a double, ripping a ball to just inside the center field wall. The side closed on a strike-out from DeDe Justice.

The game ended in a 9-1 victory for the Pride, pushing the home team to a 3-0 lead on the series and putting them only one game behind second place in the NPF standings.

The two teams will go head-to-head for the final time this weekend tomorrow afternoon at 12:05 pm.

The USSSA Florida Pride joined the NPF as a franchise Team in November of 2009, operated by Florida Pride LLC. USSSA managed the Pride Team during 2009, culminating their inaugural season with a second place finish in the Championship Series. USSSA Florida Pride is sponsored by USSSA, the world’s largest amateur sports association, and is headquartered in Kissimmee, Florida.

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!