Fantastic performances by both pitching staffs of the Scrap Yard Dawgs and the USSSA Pride made offense hard to come by at Space Coast Stadium on Wednesday. The duo of Cheridan Hawkins and Morgan Foley allowed just four combined hits to help the Dawgs squeak out a 2-0 victory.
The loss was the Pride’s first since June 17 – one that came at the hands of the Dawgs. The Dawgs have given the Pride two of its three losses on the season. The win for the Dawgs breaks a four-game skid, with all of those losses doled out by the Pride.
With the Dawgs leading 2-0 going into the bottom of the seventh, the Pride’s Courtney Ceo blooped a pitch into shallow left center for the base hit. After a ground out by Kirsti Merritt advanced Ceo to second base, Foley issued a walk to Kelly Kretschman. Pinch runner Alex Powers was the victim of a fielder’s choice by Shelby Pendley that also advanced Ceo to third. With two on and two outs, Lauren Chamberlain grounded out to end the game. The Pride left ten base runners stranded in the game.
It was Nerissa Myers who gave the Dawgs the 2-0 lead in the top of the seventh inning. To start the inning, though, Christian Stokes ripped a single up the middle. She advanced to second after a Brittany Cervantes walk. Allexis Bennett kept her offensive hot streak alive when her ground ball richoceted off pitcher Keilani Rickett’s glove for the base hit that allowed Stokes to advance to third. It was then that Myers’s single to right scored Stokes. The Petal, Miss. native’s RBI was number 12 on the season.
Ricketts took the loss in the circle for the Pride, allowing two runs on eight hits. The former Oklahoma Sooner struck out six and walked one. Hawkins is credited with the win for the Dawgs.
The Dawgs struck first with a run in the top of the third inning. Brianna Cherry grabbed her first hit of the 2017 season with one out, with a single up the gut. Olivia Watkins’s sacrifice bunt advanced Cherry to second and she scored on Bennett’s single straight up the middle. Bennett’s hit streak has now reached six games and the RBI was the Corona Calif. native’s third of her rookie season. She had three hits on the night.
Kretschman ripped a ball down the first base line for a triple to start the bottom of the fourth. Dawgs pitcher Hawkins issued free passes to Pendley and GiOnna DiSalvatore and got Hallie Wilson and Chamberlain to fly out. With bases loaded, Foley entered the game in the circle for the Dawgs and got pinch-hitter Bianka Bell to ground out to first to end the inning and the threat.
Hawkins was outstanding for the Dawgs in the circle, allowing just the one hit to Kretschman in 3.1 innings of work. She struck out three and walked three.
Foley escaped another jam unscathed an inning later for the Dawgs. Mo Mercado guided a base hit to right field to start the bottom of the fifth inning for the Pride. Ceo’s sacrifice advanced Mercado 60 feet into scoring position. After a Merritt fly ball out, Foley walked Kretschman and Pendley to load the bases for Chamberlain. The University of Indianapolis product in Foley got Chamberlain to pop out to Myers to slam the door on the inning. Foley allowed just three hits in 3.2 innings of relief. The Milton, West Va. native struck out one and walked three.
The victory brings the Dawgs back to .500 on the season with a 10-10 record. And will remain in Florida on Thursday to face the Beijing Shougang Eagles, who grabbed its first NPF league win on Wednesday against the Texas Charge. The first pitch is set for 4:05pm.
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.