Britt Vonk kept her hot streak alive at the plate for the Scrap Yard Dawgs on Saturday, driving in a pair of runs to help the Dawgs grab the 3-1 victory against the Akron Racers. The Dawgs have won nine of their last ten games.
The former Cal-Berkeley standout has been on a tear offensively of late for the Dawgs, going 4-for-7 yesterday in Sugarland against the Beijing-Shougang Eagles – and in the last three games has four RBIs.
Monica Abbott was stellar in the circle once again for the Dawgs, striking out 12 in getting win number 12 on the year. The lefty hurler allowed one run on four hits while walking three in the complete-game victory.
For the Racers, AJ Andrews started the game with a leadoff bunt single, but her attempt to steal second was thwarted by Dawgs catcher Taylor Edwards, whose perfect throw got Andrews out at second.
The Dawgs jumped on top right away in the bottom of the first inning after Nerissa Myers was hit by a Jailyn Ford offering to get on board. Brittany Cervantes then ripped a ball into the gap in left center just beyond a diving Andrews for the double. Myers was able to score all the way from first base for the first run of the game and a 1-0 lead. The Cervantes RBI is her tenth as a Dawg. Myers continues to find a way to get on base – the Petal Miss. native has reached base in 11 straight games.
Dawgs coach Joe Guthrie said the Dawgs’ approach at the plate has been a huge factor in its winning ways of late.
“I think offensively, we are doing a better job of putting the ball in play and our strikeout numbers have been lower than they were, say, at the beginning of the year. Usually a team that wins the strikeout battle is the team who is in a good spot to win the game,” Guthrie said. “We still have some spots to improve overall, but that has been something that has been better.”
In the top of the fourth, it was Andrews again who tried to provide the spark offensively for the Racers. The former LSU standout drew a leadoff walk and moved over to second base on the sacrifice by Ashley Thomas. Andrews advanced to third base on a wild pitch. After Shellie Robinson reached first on the free pass, the Racers had runners on the corners for Nicole Schroeder. Abbott was able to get Schroeder out swinging to get out of the inning unscathed.
Vonk, who played hero in last night’s game against the Beijing Eagles, came through in a big way again for the Dawgs in the bottom of the fourth. Cervantes got things going with a single to left center. The University of Kentucky product went 2-for-2 on the day for the Dawgs. After a deep fly ball by Katiyana Mauga let pinch runner Olivia Watkins reach second base, Kayla Winkfield drew a walk to put two runners aboard. A double steal moved Watkins and Winkfield over 60 feet to set the table for Vonk, who ripped a ball up the gut for the two-RBI single and a 3-0 Dawg lead. The Enschede, Holland native went 2-for-3 on the night and has racked up 14 RBIs on the year for the Dawgs.
For the Racers, Ford took the loss in the circle, allowing two runs on three hits, walking one in 3.1 innings of work. Emily Weiman tossed 2.2 innings of relief and allowed one run on two hits. Weiman struck out four.
Andrews helped the Racers get on the board in the top of the sixth inning. She took the first pitch from Abbott over the right field wall for a home run to cut the lead to 3-1. It was the Oldsmar, Fla. native’s second homer of the year.
The win puts the Dawgs at 19-11 on the year and gives them a bit more breathing room in the standings from the Racers, who drop to 19-17.
The Dawgs and Racers square off once against tomorrow at the Dawg Pound in Conroe with the first pitch slated for 1:05.
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.