AKRON, Ohio –July 10, 2015- USSSA Pride shortstop Madison Shipman‘s late game heroics sunk the Akron Racers in the finale of the four-game series Thursday night. Shipman drove in four RBI in her final two at-bats to lead the Pride (15-7) to a 6-4 victory in eight innings
over the host Racers (13-14).
Shipman (2-4, 1 Run, 4 RBI) changed the game in the top of the seventh inning with a two-run home run to left field that scored pinch runner Courtney Ceo to tie the game 4-4. After the Racers were quietly set down by Pride closing pitcher Jordan Taylor (2-1) in the bottom of the seventh inning, the table was set for Shipman again in the top of the eighth. With pinch hitter Amanda Kamekona and pinch runner Breja’e Washington on second and third base respectively, Shipman blasted a line drive over Racer left fielder Sonoka Kuniyoshi for a two RBI double to put the Pride on top 6-4.
Akron made some noise in the bottom of the eighth inning and almost tied the game again. With two outs and right fielder Ayumi Karino on first base, Briana Hamilton stepped to the plate and drove a deep fly ball to right field that Pride right fielder Kelly Kretschman caught just in front of the fence, just short of a two-run home run.
Racer starting pitcher Lisa Norris took the loss, working 7.1 innings, allowing six earned runs on nine hits, with five walks and three strikeouts. Coming into the seventh inning Norris had retired nine of the last 11 hitters she faced, allowing just two runs.
The ending highlighted what was a back and forth battle all night, with three lead changes and two ties throughout eight innings of play.
Kretschman (2-5, 1 Run, 1 RBI) opened the game with a home run to give the Pride a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. This was Kretschman’s fifth homerun of the season.
Akron answered back in the bottom of the fifth inning when Hamilton blasted a one-out, solo home run to tie the game 1-1. Three batters later, Racers designated player Nerissa Myers smashed a two-run home run to centerfield that also brought home shortstop, Jill Barrett.
The Pride and Akron would trade runs in the sixth inning to keep the Racers ahead 4-2 entering the seventh inning.
Jordan Taylor was awarded the win after throwing the final 2.2 innings of relief for Andi Williamson who entered in the bottom of the fifth for starter Hannah Rogers.
Akron Racers’ General Manager Joey Arrietta opened the game with a dedication to Cat Osterman, the two-time Olympic medalist and eight-season NPF veteran, who played her final game at Firestone Stadium last night before her retirement that will follow this season.
The Pride head to Pennsylvania to take on the Rebellion tonight, Friday July, 10th, for a three-game set at CONSOL –Energy Park in Washington, PA.
Final Score: USSSA Pride: 6 Akron Racers: 4 Records: USSSA Pride: (15-7) Akron Racers: (13-14)
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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.
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