06/22/2017 3:05 PM -
The Scrap Yard Dawgs kept its offensive onslaught of the past three games alive and well against the Chicago Bandits on Thursday, this time erupting with six runs in the first two innings en route to a 7-4 victory in Conroe.
The win is the Dawgs fourth straight and is good enough for the series sweep against the Bandits.
Nerissa Myers left no doubt on a fly ball that sailed over the fence in dead center to start the scoring for the Dawgs. It’s the Petal, Miss. native’s third homer of the year and it put the Dawgs up 1-0 after one inning.
“One thing is my coaches keep telling me to keep swinging and that I was just missing. I also have wonderful teammates also have helped me keep my head in the game,” Myers said of her offensive surge. “They kept me from deterring and letting the failure take over. So, it was just a matter of my mental approach and trusting the process.”
A five-run second inning gave Dawgs pitching a bit of breathing room. It was Alisa Goler’s leadoff walk that put the scoring barrage in motion for the Dawgs. Pinch-runner Olivia Watkins stole second and scored off Kayla Winkfield’s infield single to push the lead to 2-0. The Mississippi State product has made some noise with her bat as of late, hitting .394 on the year. Winkfield scored when Amanda Fama’s blooper hit the turf in left center for a single.
That was all she wrote for Bandits pitcher Shelby Turnier. Turnier allowed four runs off three hits and walked one in an inning of work. The pitching change had no impact on the Dawgs offense – Christian Stokes reached safety on a fielder’s choice caused by Fama – who got back to second safety on the throw-out attempt. One batter later, Kiki Stokes drew the walk off Bandit’s pitcher Haylie Wagner and loaded the bases,
Myers didn’t let the RBI opportunity slide, lining a ball into the gap in left center to score Fama and Christian Stokes. Myers’s three-RBI night gave the University of Louisiana-Lafayette product a team-best ten RBIs on the season. Brittany Cervantes’s sac fly scored Kiki Stokes for the final run of the inning and gave the Dawgs a 6-0 advantage.
Stellar defense got Dawgs pitcher Morgan Melloh out of a bit of trouble in the top of the third. Sammy Marshall singled up the gut for the base hit and after stealing second, advanced to third on the errant throw by Dawgs catcher Christian Stokes. Chicago’s Emily Carosone then launched a ball to right field that looked to be deep enough for the two-run homer, but Watkins had other plans, leaping at just the right time to rob Carosone and deny the Bandits a pair of runs.
The Dawgs got itself an insurance run in an unconventional manner in the bottom of the fourth. Kiki Stokes used a gorgeous bunt to reach first, but the Olathe, Kan. native scored all the way from first when the put out attempt by Sahvanna Jaquish rolled all the way to the right field fence to put the Dawgs up 7-0.
“I thinking when you’re coming into the summer there’s a time to find your feel for the game and I think that each one of us is trusting each other,” Myers said of the Dawgs offense. “We’re trusting that if you don’t get it done there are 26 others behind you that can. So it takes a lot of pressure off when you can trust someone can come in and get it done.”
The Bandits pushed across three runs in the top of the fifth inning and tried to make a game of it in the top of the seventh. Sammy Marshall and Carosone reached on bunt singles to start the seventh. Jaquish singled into left center to score Marshall and make the score 7-4. Dawgs pitcher Monica Abbott entered the game and got Megan Blank out swinging for the first out of the inning. After Abbott walked Stacy May-Johnson, the bases were loaded for Danielle Zymkowitz. Abbott got Zymkowitz and Emily Crane out on strikes to end the game. Abbott is credited with the save.
Melloh got the win in the circle for the Dawgs, allowing three runs on four hits. Only one of those runs was earned. The Indiana University product walked three in four innings of work. Rachel Fox and Cheridan Hawkins both worked in relief for the Dawgs, with Fox allowing one run off two hits in two innings of work.
The Dawgs close out the home stand with a 7-4 record and hit the road on Tuesday, travelling to San Marcos to face the Charge for a quick two-game series. They return home on Friday for a series against the USSSA Pride. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.
About the Scrap Yard Dawgs
The Scrap Yard Dawgs began competition in the National Pro Fastpitch league in 2016. The Dawgs provides elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and inspire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Houston area, the Dawgs organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and professionalism. Follow the Dawgs at www.scrapyarddawgs.com or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)
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.