Juggernaut are 2004 NPF World Series Champions
An entire season of blood, sweat, and tears came down to one single game to decide the first ever National Pro Fastpitch World Series Championship. It was a showdown of underdogs-the third seed NY/NJ Juggernaut (2-1) faced off against the fourth seed, New England Riptide (2-1) in a final match-up for the Cowles Cup.
Amanda Scott proved to be the cornerstone of the Juggernaut defense, pitching five complete innings with four strikeouts, combining for an undefeated record in championship play. Juggernaut Kellie Wilkerson (2-for-3, BB, 4 RBI) brought in four runs, highlighted by a three run blast to lead the NY/NJ offense.
It proved to be a true Championship battle right off the bat. The Juggernaut set the tempo of the game early by pulling ahead in the top of the first. Both Carri Leto (1-for-4, 2 R) and Kellie Wilkerson drew walks to put the go-ahead run in scoring position. Juggernaut Lyndsey Klein (3-for-4, RBI, 2 R) stepped up and knocked a single into center field that brought around Leto to score run number one. The Riptide tried to stop the Juggernaut momentum by making a pitching change, handing the ball over to Jocelyn Forest. But the change did not phase the Juggernaut as Germaine Fairchild (1-for-2) stepped up to the plate with two outs and blasted a single into center field to score two more for the Nauts. The inning finally ended with the Juggernaut on top, 3-0.
The Riptide would not go quietly, starting their scoring in the first inning as well. New England's inning started just like the Juggernaut, drawing two walks and the combination of a hit from the Riptide's Ashley Moore and a Juggernaut error put the Riptide on the scoreboard, bringing them within two. However, that was all the Riptide could produce as the Juggernaut retired two of the next three batters.
The Juggernaut continued to pound the Riptide with another big inning in the second. The inning began, once again, with two walks to put two Nauts on base. Wilkerson took command of the game and scorched a three-run home run to right field. With another big inning, the Riptide made yet another pitching change, bringing in Megan Mathews to retire the side.
Wilkerson continued her hot streak in the fourth inning by driving in her fourth RBI of the game with a double that hit off the left center field fence. However, faulty base running ended the inning early for the Juggernaut, only recording one run to put the Juggernaut up 7-1.
Juggernaut Gina Oaks took over the mound for the sixth inning to keep the Juggernaut defense steadfast. Wilkerson continued her stellar championship play by ending the inning with a diving catch in right field, halting the Riptide's scoring threat.
The Juggernaut were not satisfied and continued their scoring extravaganza into the seventh inning. The team combined for three additional runs on four hits to extend the score to 10-1.
Juggernaut Kaci Clark was called into the circle in the seventh inning to seal the championship for NY/NJ. Clark struck out one batter and it was only fitting for Wilkerson to record the last out of the game, finally bringing the Cowles Cup to its new home, NY/NJ, home of the Juggernaut. Kellie Wilkerson was named MVP of the Championship Game and Nauts ace, Amanda Scott was awarded the MVP of the Playoffs, with three wins in the series.
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National Pro Fastpitch Stories from August 29, 2004
- Juggernaut are 2004 NPF World Series Champions - New York/New Jersey Juggernaut
- Juggernaut claims inaugural Cowles Cup - NPF
- National Pro Fastpitch Championship Game at Firestone Stadium Reformatted - Akron Racers
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