Akron, OH -June 25, 2017 – In the final game of both teams’ series in Akron, the USSSA Pride put on an offensive showcase, highlighted by a grand slam by outfielder Kelly Kretschman, to defeat the Beijing Shougang Eagles 10-1 on Sunday evening. The win was the fifth straight for the Pride.
The Eagles (0-13) cut into an early 3-0 lead for the Pride (11-2) in the bottom of the third inning, Zhang Jing lined the ball down the right field line and raced all the way to third base for a triple. Jing scored when Sun Xun followed with an RBI on a ground out to shortstop Shelby Pendley.
The Pride were quick to respond in the top of the fourth inning. USSSA loaded the bases without the ball leaving the infield as Kirsti Merritt drew a leadoff walk. Mandie Perez laced a hard ball up the middle that glanced off pitcher Li Qi for an infield single. Megan Wiggins then was hit by a pitch from Qi. Kretschman stepped to the plate and put the Pride ahead 7-1.
The next inning, the Pride continued the power barrage, Pendley blasted a solo home run to right field and GiOnna DiSalvatore smashed a two-run homer that plated Merritt and gave USSSA a 10-1 lead.
DiSalvatore went 2-for-3 with three RBI and Sierra Romero hit a two-run home run in the third inning to bring the Pride total to four home runs.
While the Pride bats were piling up runs, starting pitcher Kelsey Nunley was silencing Beijing’s bats. Nunley threw five innings, allowing only one run on three hits and zero walks, while striking out eight hitters. Angel Bunner came into the game in relief of Nunley to start the sixth inning and threw two perfect innings out of the bullpen.
The Pride will next continue their road trip to take on the Scrap Yard Dawgs for a three-game series beginning on Friday, June 30. Meanwhile, the Eagles will take on the Texas Charge in a two-game series beginning on Tuesday, July 4.
* Attendance: 2:05
* Game Time: 717
* Vaultz® Lock It Up® Player of the Game: Gionna Disalvatore (USSSA Pride)
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National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2004, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Akron Racers, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Chicago Bandits, Scrap Yard Dawgs, Texas Charge and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2017 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada and China among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.