Hoover, AL – August 21, 2014 – The USSSA Florida Pride advance to their sixth consecutive National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Championship Series final after defeating the Pennsylvania Rebellion 3-2 Thursday night at Hoover Met Stadium. A RBI double by Kelly Kretschman in the bottom of the fourth broke a 2-2 tie, and the combination of Keilani Ricketts and Jordan Taylor shut out the Rebellion over the last three innings to claim a 3-2 victory. With the win, the Pride eliminate the Rebellion from the NPF Championship Series and will face either the Akron Racers or Chicago Bandits in the final starting Friday night.
The Pride got on the board first in the bottom of the first. With one out, center fielder Caitlin Lowe singled to right. After advancing to second on a wild pitch, Lowe scored on a RBI double to left-center by NPF Rookie of the Year Madison Shipman.
The Pride added to their total in the bottom of the second. Designated player Amanda Kamekona singled to center. Sharonda McDonald, who came on to pinch run for Kamekona, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Rebellion catcher Taylor Edwards. On the first pitch to catcher Megan Willis, the Pride attempted a squeeze; McDonald scored on the play with an error by Rebellion third baseman Jenn Salling, giving the Pride a 2-0 advantage.
The Rebellion got on the scoreboard with a two-out RBI single by shortstop Bianca Mejia, driving in Brittney Lindley in the top of the third. That cut the Pride lead to 2-1. The Rebellion weren’t done, though. They loaded the bases, still with two outs, then Mejia scored on an infield single by second baseman Lauren Lappin, tying the game at 2-2.
The Pride re-gained the lead in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, they got back-to-back doubles by first baseman GiOnna DiSalvatore and right fielder Kelly Kretschman; DiSalvatore scored on the double by Kretschman for a 3-2 Pride lead. After the Pride loaded the bases with one out, Angel Bunner came on in relief of Rebellion starter Sarah Pauly; Bunner got Willis to hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Keilani Ricketts started for the Pride, pitching 5-1/3 innings, scattering five hits and allowing two runs. Jordan Taylor came on with one out and a runner on in the sixth; Taylor struck out pinch hitter Angeline Quiocho, then struck out first baseman Brianna Hamilton looking to end the sixth.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Pride had runners on second and third with one out after DiSalvatore’s second double of the game. Bunner then struck out Kretschman looking and got Kamekona to ground out.
In the top of the seventh, Taylor allowed one hit but no runs to close out the game. Ricketts earned the win while Taylor recorded the save. DiSalvatore had two of the Pride’s eight hits, both of which were doubles.
The Pride will face the winner of the series between the Akron Racers and the Chicago Bandits in a best-of-three series starting at 7:00 p.m. Friday night at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. The entire Championship final will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network. The Pride will look to win their third NPF Championship after winning last year against the Bandits and in 2010 against the Bandits.
Box Score: Click Here
Site: Hoover Metropolitan Stadium – Hoover, AL
Score: PA Rebellion 2, USSSA Pride 3
Next USSSA Pride Game: Championship Series Finals Game 1 – 8:00 PM ET, 7:00 PM CT
PA Rebellion Season Ends
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 Pennsylvania Rebellion
The Rebellion is a professional women’s softball team competing as part of National Pro Fastpitch (NPF). Joining the gritty, fast-paced league in 2014, the Rebellion will play head-to-head against the most talented players in the sport. Games are broadcast nationally and draw local fans of all ages to experience the action live. NPF is an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball.
About National Pro Fastpitch
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. 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 and has been 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.