As their debut National Pro Fastpitch season winds down, the Aussie Spirit seems to have found form at the right time.
Fresh from a win over the all-conquering USSSA Pride, the Aussie Spirit travelled to Columbus, Ohio, to begin a three-game series against the Cleveland Comets.
The Spirit dominated all facets of the game to win 8-0. While the result means little in the context of the NPF standings, it is an indication that the Spirit are improving as they get closer to the end game: the XVI Women’s Softball World Championship in Chiba, Japan, next month.
Game 46: Aussie Spirit 8, Cleveland Comets 0
The first two innings belonged to Aussie Spirit catcher Belinda White, who cut down a would-be base stealer in the first inning and combined with Stacey McManus to complete a double play at home.
The Spirit were first to score, after Samantha Poole singled, stole second and scored on two successive bunts. White then launched a two-run homer to left field that scored Jade Wall, who had walked, giving the Spirit a 3-0 lead.
They added to the lead in the fourth inning when Clare Warwick singled and scored on a McManus double.
Warwick, who had three hits for the game, singled again in the sixth inning after Tamieka Whitefield had reached on an error. McManus drove in a run with a ground ball that was misplayed by the Cleveland shortstop, then Melinda Weaver had an RBI groundout.
Chelsea Forkin added to the run-fest with an RBI single, before Leigh Godfrey produced her second hit of the game to complete the scoring in a four-run inning.
Any chance the Comets had of matching the Spirit’s run total were snuffed out from the start by pitchers Ellen Roberts and Justine Smethurst.
Roberts allowed four hits and no walks in four innings, with three strikeouts. Smethurst pitched the final three innings, striking out six and allowing three hits and one walk.