CORPUS CHRISTI — The USSSA Pride got plenty of help from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s former player and now pitching coach in taking the first game of a softball doubleheader against Akron on Saturday. Sarah Pauly hung on and got the win in the tight 3-2 victory.
Former Islanders pitcher Sarah Pauly, now A&M-CC’s softball pitching coach, scattered four hits in leading the Pride to a slim victory at Whataburger Field during the Hurricane Alley Coastal Classic.
Behind Sam Marder’s eighth-inning monster grand slam off former LSU pitcher Brittany Mack, Akron won the second game of the late night double header 4-3 Saturday night to avoid being swept in this four-game series showing. Mack pitched for LSU in last week’s College World Series, where they were eliminated in the semi finals.
“We’ve been trying to grow the sport of softball and so to come here to Corpus is big,” said Pauly, who pitched a complete game to get the win in game 1 of Saturdays double header. “It’s actually pretty cool that I was able to play here, coach here and play professionally here, too.”
Pauly, who had a rough start to to the, giving up 2 runs, recovered quickly in the next 6 innings of play. Giving up just one hit, and one walk after the first inning, she coasted through the game and retired her last 11 batters faced.
“For some reason the past two weeks I’ve been struggling in the first inning,” said Pauly, who struck out six and walked one in the game. “I knew after I got the first inning shakes and jitters out of the way, it was smooth sailing from there.”
That also kept the Pride in the game long enough for them to rally with two runs in the sixth inning to overcome a 2-1 deficit. Megan Willis drew a bases loaded walk to tie the game, before pinch hitter Charlotte Morgan’s RBI single gave the Pride a 3-2 lead. The Pride wouldnt give up that lead the rest of the game.
“I knew they would come back,” Pauly said. “They’re behind us no matter what. Even if it takes until the sixth inning — they always do it. It was nice to come out with the win.”
Pauly hopes Saturday’s outing wasn’t her last at Whataburger Field.
“It would be really neat to come back here,” Pauly said. “We always get big crowds in Texas. The fact that we’re getting another big crowd in Corpus Christi, one of the smaller cities that we’ve played in, is really good for the sport and the league.”
There were 2,616 in attendance Saturday for a three-day total of 8,602.
USSSA PRIDE 3, AKRON 2
WP — Sarah Pauly. LP — Hillary Bach. 2B – Natasha Watley, Kelly Kretschman. HIGHLIGHTS – USSSA Pride: Pauly 7 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 6 Ks; Andrea Duran 1-1, RBI; Megan Willis 1-1, RBI; Charlotte Morgan 1-1, RBI. Akron: Nicole Pauly 2-run single.
AKRON 4, USSSA PRIDE 3 (8 INNINGS)
WP — Kristina Thorson. LP — Brittany Mack. 2B: Akron: Brianna Hesson. HR – Akron: Sam Marder. USSSA Pride: Natasha Watley. HIGHLIGHTS – USSSA Pride: Mack 8 IP, 4 H, 7 Ks; Watley 3 RBI; Lauren Lappin 2 singles; Calitin Lowe 2 singles. Akron: Thorson 8 IP, 3 H, 7 K’s; Marder Grand Slam, 4 RBI.
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!