For the third time this season, the Scrap Yard Dawgs got to play a bit of extra softball – this time needing ten innings to dispose of Beijing Shougang at Space Coast Stadium in Florida. The 3-2 win brought the Dawgs back above .500 at 11-10 on the year.
In the top of the tenth inning, the International Tiebreaker rule came into effect and put Christi Orgeron on second base to pinch run for Meagan May-Whitley to start the inning for the Dawgs. Right away, Christian Stokes’s sacrifice put Orgeron on third for pinch hitter MJ Knighten. The University of Nebraska product was able to get through the infield for the RBI single. The RBI was Knighten’s second of her NPF career.
That was all pitcher Monica Abbott would need. With a runner on second for the Eagles to open the inning, Abbott struck out the side to grab the win. The former Tennessee Volunteer kept the Eagles off balance, striking out seven consecutive batters in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to help the Dawgs stay alive. The lefty hurler struck out 13 in five innings of work, not allowing a hit.
The Eagles used its speed on the base paths to jump out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Li Li Lui started things off with a bunt single. Jing Zhou and Jia Chen followed suit to load the bases for Bei Wang. Wang ripped a single down the right field line to score Lui and Zhou for the 2-0 lead. Wang has five RBIs on the season.
Eagles pitcher Nancy Bowling kept the Dawg bats quiet until the top of the fourth, when the Dawgs tied things up at 2-2. Britt Vonk dumped a base hit to left field to start the inning. The Cal-Berkeley product stole second to get into scoring position and Nerissa Myers’s ground out helped Vonk reach third to set the table for Taylor Edwards. The former Nebraska Cornhusker lasered a ball straight up the middle for the RBI single. Edwards now has ten RBIs in the 2017 for the Dawgs.
With one out and two on base, Meagan May-Whitley’s ground ball looked to be enough for the Beijing Shougang double-play, but an errant throw to first base by Ying Lu sailed into right field. The error scored Brittany Cervantes - who was hit by a pitch to reach base - to tie the game at 2-2 and put May-Whitley at third base. A Lan Wang strikeout of Stokes shut down a chance for the Dawgs to take the lead.
After giving up four hits in the first inning, Dawgs pitcher Miranda Kramer settled down nicely, not allowing a hit or a base runner for four innings. The West Burlington, Ia. native struck out three and walked one in five innings of work.
The Dawgs got some stellar defense from left fielder Kayla Winkfield. To open the bottom of the sixth, Wang fouled off a pitch to far left field. Winkfield’s diving catch robbed Wang of another shot to get on board.
For the Eagles, Wang was solid in the circle in relief, allowing one run on four hits in 6.2 innings of relief. Wang struck out six.
Myers finished the game with a pair of hits, while Allexis Bennett kept her hit streak alive at seven straight games. Cervantes and Winkfield also had a hits for the Dawgs.
The Dawgs take a two-day break before facing the Eagles again on Sunday, this time in Akron. 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.