Orlando, FL–The USSSA Florida Pride took to the field today for the fifth and final game of their exhibition series against the Venezuela National Team. Entering the contest leading the series 4-0, the Pride was looking for a sweep and after a rough start, was able to turn the game around in the bottom of the six to clinch the game with a 4-2 win.
Pride Rookie Charlotte Morgan stepped into the circle for the first time with the team and pitched four innings, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out two. Relief came in the top of the fifth from Desiree Serrano who allowed only two hits and no runs in the remainder of the game.
Catcher Megan Willis drove in the winning runs of the game in the bottom of the sixth, advancing Tonya Callahan and allowing Cat Osterman to score on a throwing error.
“We’ve faced this pitcher before so I went in knowing what to look for,” said Willis. “I went in with a game plan, and I went with it, and it happened to go through the infield, so it worked out well.”
Venezuela was the first to threaten in the top of the second, after the third batter up in the inning, Jineth Pimentel made it to base on an error from the Pride’s Tonya Callahan at third. Next in the line-up was Crristina Rodriguez who advanced Pimentel into scoring position on second when she made to first after being hit by a pitch. A ground out to short stop Lauren Lappin from Yusmary Perez left the pair stranded however, and marked the third out of the inning.
The Pride saw their first base hit of the contest in the bottom of the second from Lappin. When Nicole Trimboli followed with a walk, advancing Lappin to second, the Pride saw their first opportunity to score of the game, but a pop-fly to right field from catcher Megan Willis left two batters on at the end of the inning.
The top of the third gave the Venezuela team their first run of the contest, as well as their first run of the series. Maria Soto led the inning with a single and advanced to second on a pass ball. A single from Yuruby Alicart, followed by an extra base taken, advanced both runners but saw Soto tagged out on her run to the plate. A double from Denisse Fuenmayor sent Alicart home for the first run of the contest. After hitting Yaicey Sojo with a pitch, sending her to first, Morgan struck out Rubilena Rojas to end the inning.
The top of the fourth saw a second run for the Venezuela team when Hernauza Ruiz, pinch running for Pimentel, was sent home on a pass ball by Megan Willis, her third of the contest. Three quick outs followed and the Pride was up to bat again.
The Pride put themselves on the board in the bottom of the fifth when Nicole Trimboli made the team’s first run, advancing on a double from Caitlin Lowe after singles from both Trimboli and Willis. Willis, after making it on base, was tagged out on a double play on Stephanie Best’s at-bat. Lowe’s double, though scoring Trimboli, saw her tagged out on a throw to third when she attempted to take the extra bag, ending the inning.
The Pride’s luck truly began to turn around in the bottom of the sixth when the Pride racked up another three runs. A double from Kelly Kretschman put the Pride in scoring position on second. A walk from Callahan, followed by a single from Morgan left the bases loaded when Lappin came to bat. A 4-3 put-out allowed Kretschman to score the tying run of the game and advanced both Callahan and Morgan ahead a base. An intentional walk on Trimboli loaded the bases for the second time in the inning. Willis’s subsequent single drove Callahan home and an error from center fielder Yaicey Sojo allowed Cat Osterman, pinch running for Morgan, to make the Pride’s fourth run of the inning. Trimboli was tagged out heading for the plate, ending the sixth for the Pride.
The top of the seventh saw a quick three outs for the Venezuela team, and a fifth victory for the Pride, who ended the game 4-2.
The USSSA Florida Pride begin their regular NPF season this Wed., June 9 at 7:05 pm in Lubbock, Tex. when they face off against the Chicago Bandits. The fourth game of the series will be broadcast live on ESPN2, a new step for the NPF and an exciting move for the league and its respective teams.
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.
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 News!