ROSEMONT, IL — August 23, 2013 – The USSSA Pride defeated the Akron Racers 2-1 in the second round of the 2013 National Pro Fastpitch Championship to advance to play the Chicago Bandits in the best of three Championship Series.
The Pride scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning after an RBI by Megan Willis scored Lauren Lappin from third. Kristyn Sandberg was thrown out at home after trying to score from second to end the inning.
The Racers tallied their first hit in the top of the sixth inning with a triple from Ayumi Karino. With runners on first and third, Charlotte Morgan hit a ground ball to third and an error on the play allowed Karino to score, tying the game at 1-1.
Heading into the bottom of the sixth with the score knotted, the Pride threatened the Racers with runners on second and third base, putting two in scoring position with only one out. Lisa Norris shut down the Pride and ended the threat by striking out Francesca Enea. The inning ended with a Willis ground out.
In the top of the seventh, the Racers put two on but failed to produce, as Pride ace Cat Osterman struck out two and a coaxed a fly ball to right field by Kelley Montalvo.
Ashley Charters led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk for the Pride and moved all the way to third as the Racers errored on a Natasha Watley bunt. Watley rounded first and eventually was caught in a rundown between first and second. With Racers defense distracted by Watley, Charters used the opportunity to score the game winning run for the Pride.
The Pride improved their record to 35-14 with the win over the Racers and move forward to play the Bandits tonight at 9:30 ET for the first game of a best of three Final Series.