August 10, 2017 - National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)
Viera, FL (August 9, 2017) - On a breezy Wednesday evening, the 2017 Regular Season Champions USSSA Pride (37-9) saluted the Space Coast Stadium with an overpowering win over the Beijing Eagles (3-44). A flawless pitching performance combined with an offensive slug-fest, propelled the Pride past Shougang, 11-0.
Clutching a five inning shutout, Jolene Henderson (7-2) took the circle for USSSA, snatching one strikeout and allowing one hit on 13 batters faced. With her record, Jolene has now jumped up to the fourth spot in the NPF leaderboard for wins, alongside fellow teammate Kelsey Nunley. Furthermore, the former Cal Bear is currently ranked sixth in the NPF for strikeouts, with an outstanding count of 52.
Relieving in the fifth, Jessica Burroughs (1-0) made her 15th appearance in her first NPF season, collecting one strikeout and allotting solely one hit in three innings pitched. In the 27.2 innings pitched, the former Seminole accumulated six walks and eight strikeouts for a seasonal ERA of 2.27.
The Pride offense burst throughout the entire game, as the Viera-based lineup seized 15 hits and 10 RBIs. In the last home outing, four USSSA players ended the night with a 2-for-3 performance. Megan Wiggins totaled three hits and batted in two runners, while Kirsti Merritt grasped three RBIs and her fifth seasonal homerun.
Starting off the game with a duel between pitchers, Merritt jump-started the game for USSSA in the bottom of the second, going yards with a two-run shot behind the left field fence to put the Pride ahead, 0-2. The USSSA bats were still hot, and in the third the back-to-back Regular Season Champs joined forces into a batting frenzy, clawing eight runs to motor past Shougang, 0-10.
In the bottom of the fifth, Merritt brought the Pride on the scoreboard once more to enlarge the stretch, 0-11. Entering the seventh with an overwhelming lead, Burroughs topped the Beijing lineup with a quick 1-2-3 frame and crowned the last Pride home win, 0-11.
The Pride will now travel to Chicago to face the Bandits in the last regular season series. The first game is set for Friday, Aug. 11 at 8:35 p.m. EST.