The Scrap Yard Dawgs got a bit of everything in a game against the Beijing Shougang Eagles on Sunday at Firestone Park in Akron – an offense that exploded for 11 hits and took advantage of its opportunities. That combo propelled the Dawgs to the 10-7 win.
The win is the third straight for the Dawgs and put it at 12-10 on the year. After one more against the Eagles tomorrow, the Dawgs head into a huge two-game series with the Akron Racers, who sit just behind the Dawgs in third place in the NPF standings.
After the Dawgs couldn’t score its lone base runner in the top of the first inning, the offense was sure to not let the opportunity slide in the second. Brittany Cervantes continues to find a way to get on base, this time drawing a walk to start the inning. After Meagan May-Whitley got a free pass after being hit by a pitch and pinch-runner Olivia Watkins stole second, MJ Knighten roped an RBI single to left to score Watkins for a 1-0 advantage.
But the Dawgs weren’t done. After Christian Stokes reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on a base hit by Kayla Winkfield, Allexis Bennett’s fly ball into shallow left field dropped for a double that scored Stokes to extend the lead to 2-0.
A four-run third inning gave the Dawgs a bit of breathing room and a 6-0 advantage. In the first two innings, the Dawgs’ lead-off batter reached base and the third inning was no exception as Taylor Edwards ripped a ball into the gap in left center for the single. Watkins was able to reach on her bunt to the pitcher after Beijing hurler Nancy Bowling attempted to get Edwards at second base. Her throw ended up in centerfield to score the Murrieta, Calif. native for the 4-0 lead.
Two additional fielding errors for the Eagles plated two runs for the Dawgs in the inning – MJ Knighten’s grounder to second was mishandled by Jing Zhao and then again by Huai Ning Yuan in right field to score Edwards and May-Whitley. May-Whitley also reached on a error in the inning. The Eagles committed four errors in the inning to help the Dawgs extend the lead to 6-0.
After the Eagles pushed across a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning, the Dawgs responded in a big way in the top of the fifth to put the game out of reach. Knighten got her second hit of the game with a lead-off single to right. The University of Nebraska product reached third when Katiyana Mauga rifled a ball down the third base line, good enough for a double. The extra base hit was Mauga’s Dawg debut. Nerissa Myers’s single to right scored Mauga was gave the Petal Miss. native RBI number 13 on the year. Myers’s had a pair of hits on the day for the Dawgs.
But the big hurt came with two on for Bennett, who launched a ball to deep right field for the three-run homer. The Corona Calif. native’s bomb was the first of her NPF career and extended her hitting streak to seven games. Bennett had a pair of hits and four RBIs on the day – it was her tenth multiple-hit game of the season. The former UCLA Bruin leads the Dawgs in batting average, hitting .427 in her rookie season, good enough to share second in the NPF with the Bandit’s Emily Carosone.
The Eagles tried to make it interesting in the bottom of the sixth, scoring five runs, but it was too little, too late. Beijing used its speed to start the inning, with Li Li Lui and Zhao both able to get on board with bunt singles. Liu scored on a single by Bei Wang. The RBI is Wang’s sixth of the season. An error by Mauga allowed Zhao to score and moved Wang to third on Kai Lin Xi’s grounder. Ying Lu and Yang Cao also had RBI singles for the Eagles in the inning.
In the circle for the Dawgs, Fox was in command, allowing just four runs on six hits in five innings of work. The Sugarland, Tex. native grabbed her first win of the season. Foley allowed two runs on two hits in two innings of relief.
Qi Li took the loss in the circle for the Eagles, allowing three runs on three hits and walking one in two innings.
The Dawgs face both the Eagles and the Racers tomorrow at Firestone Stadium with first pitch against the Eagles at 4:05 CDT. First pitch for the Akron matchup is slated for 6:35 CDT.
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.