Osterman Shuts Down Bandits 3-2

Wiggins delivered the game winning hit in the top of the fifth to give the Pride the go-ahead run. Photo by Kit Mohr

ROSEMONT, Ill. June 30, 2015– Aside from a two-run line shot to the right field bleachers off the bat of Brittany Cervantes, USSSA Pride ace Cat Osterman was unhittable Tuesday night. Osterman, in her eighth year in the NPF, tossed a complete game one-hitter against the Bandits and fanned 10 batters. The dinger by Cervantes (1-for-2, HR, 2 RBI) was the only offense the Bandits would muster all night as the Pride took game two 3-2 and guaranteed themselves no less than a series split.

“We know (Osterman) is a phenomenal pitcher,” Cervantes said. “We’re going to face her later (in the season) so the earlier we can get to her the more we feel comfortable in the long run.”

Osterman continues to lead the league in strikeouts, adding another ten to bring her total to 68 on the season. Osterman improves to 5-1 and has only allowed six earned runs in her 34.2 innings pitched and has kept her opponents batting average to a low .129.

The Pride drew first blood as they got to Bandits starter Lacey Waldrop in the opening inning. After a leadoff walk to Natasha Watley (1-for-2, 2 BB, 2 R), former Bandit Megan Wiggins (3-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI) sprayed one to the right-center gap for an RBI-triple. Just like that, the Pride took an early advantage. Brigette Del Ponte shot an RBI-single to left later in the inning to make it 2-0.

Cervantes’ two-run shot in the fourth on a screwball that tailed outside tied the game. She said she was just lucky to even make contact against Osterman.

“The fact that I can make contact against (Osterman) is a statement in and of itself,” Cervantes said.

However, the Pride responded in the fifth with a rally again started via a leadoff walk to Watley. She came around to score on a one-out single up the middle by Wiggins, which would be the game’s deciding hit to give the Pride a win.

That was all the support that Osterman needed as she went the distance and did not allow a hit the rest of the way. She overmatched some of the Bandits younger hitters and kept them off-balance with a nice mix of pitches. Lacey Waldrop pitched well for the Bandits, but was settled with the loss and fell to 1-2 on the season.

The Pride and Bandits will meet again tonight for game three in this four-game set. First pitch is set for 8:05 p.m. ET.  To purchase tickets for the remainder of the series, visit ussssapride.com or call the box office at The Ballpark at Rosemont at (877) 722-6348.

BOX SCORE LINKhttp://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=90427

LOCATION: The Ballpark at Rosemont

SCORE: Pride: 3 Bandits: 2

RECORDS: Bandits (13-6), Pride (10-4)

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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 the 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:

USSSA is 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.