After coming so close several times, the Aussie Spirit finally broke through for a win against the National Pro Fastpitch league’s dominant team, the USSSA Pride.
In their final double-header of the season at their “home” venue Missouri Western University, the Aussie Spirit rebounded from a loss to win the nightcap.
The teams played each other 12 times during the season, but it took until the final one for the Spirit to achieve a much-deserved win.
It was only the second loss for the USSSA Pride this season, who have 29 wins and are the runaway leaders in the standings.
The Aussie Spirit are in third place, with three games to go against bottom team the Cleveland Comets.
Game 44: USSSA Pride 6, Aussie Spirit 2
The powerful USSSA Pride offence got busy early, with Jessie Warren launching a three-run homer in the first inning.
The Pride padded the lead in the fifth inning with two more runs and added another in the top of the seventh.
The Aussie Spirit avoided a shut-out by scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Jade Wall and Stacey McManus singled, then Belinda White was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Melinda Weaver and Chelsea Forkin both hit RBI ground-outs, but that was the end of the scoring as Pride pitcher Jolene Henderson finished off her complete-game effort.
The best of the Aussie Spirit pitchers was Amelia Cudicio, who did not allow a base-runner in three innings of relief.
Game 45: Aussie Spirit 2, USSSA Pride 0
Aussie Spirit pitchers Kaia Parnaby and Jordan Taylor combined to shut out the USSSA Pride offence, a rare occurrence against the NPF’s highest-scoring team.
Parnaby struck out five and walked one, allowing just three hits in 4.1 innings. Taylor pitched 2.2 innings, allowing one hit and one walk, striking out five.
Jade Wall opened the scoring with a single that drove in Leigh Godfrey for the Aussie Spirit’s first run.
The score remained 1-0 until the sixth inning, when Samantha Poole’s double drove in Godfrey, who had singled and was sacrificed to second by Taylah Tsitsikronis.