The second day of the National Professional Fastpich Championships was a fairly exciting one. To start, we had the number one ranked team, the USSSA Pride face the forth ranked, Akron Racers.
The Pride had a strong start. Mendoza rocked a home run and by the end of the second inning the USSSA’s were in the lead 6-1.
The score didn’t move until the top of the sixth when the Racers brought it hard. With the bases loaded, pinch hitter Garcia hit a triple, bring two Racers home. Then Modglin hits a line drive right through Ostermans hands. It also slipped by Charters giving Modglin the base. With two Racers on base, Marder gets up to the plate and slams the ball over the wall to put the Racers in the lead 8-6.
Mendoza hit another home run later in the game to inch a bit closer to the Racers lead but it wasn’t enough. The Akron beat the USSSA 8-7.
Not only was the intense “Who’s going to win?” factor part of what made this game so entertaining, but two other moments brought the energy level up. The first came between innings (I believe between the fourth and fifth). Quiocho, who was in the stands (she played the second game of the night) graced the fans with her dance moves which could rival Beyonce. Props to you, Quiocho.
The second standout moment was the final pitch of the game. Charters, from the USSSA Pride, was at bat. She was hit by the pitch but she swung so she was called out. The Pride tried to talk to the umpire about it, but if you check out the video below it is clear that she was going for a hit. A strike it was!
In the post-game interviews, Marder mentioned several times that they are never sure when their last game would be. It leaves questions about what the league is going through and if we’ll be short a team or two next year. Then, Mendoza and her team talk about their disappointment with the loss. Mendoza gave a good explanation about how they were going to use the loss to help them win as the series continues. P.S. She had her kid with her. What a cutie.
The second game of the night was between the Chicago Bandits and the Carolina Diamonds. This was was less exciting. We didn’t have a player with Michael Jackson moves and there was so intense ending pitch, but the Bandits prove that they are a force to be reckoned with.
Abbott did a great job bringing the game to a close. This woman clocked up to 72 mph (from what I could keep track of). The other pitchers in the league were highs of 66mph, which really puts this athlete in perspective.
Wiggins solidified the Bandits lead by hitting a home run to give them 5 runs to the Diamonds 0 in the second inning. It wasn’t until the fourth inning that Carolina got on the board. Folden made it home after Lobprice hit a short one and just made it on base.
The game ended with the Bandits winning 5-1. The Bandits play on Day 3 of the NPF Championship Series at 7pm. They will play whoever wins the 11am game where the USSSA Pride play the Akron Racers.