VIERA, FL (August 1, 2017) — The Charge threatened to make a seventh-inning rally Tuesday in their series opener against the USSSA Pride, but relief pitcher Keilani Ricketts dug her way out of trouble to preserve the win.
The Pride’s 4-1 triumph at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida snapped a three-game winning streak by Texas against National Pro Fastpitch’s top team.
USSSA jumped out to an early lead on Tuesday against the Charge’s Dallas Escobedo by plating two runs in the bottom of the first and adding two more in the fourth.
The lone run for Texas (20-22) came in the top of the fifth when Missy Taukeiaho tallied an RBI fielder’s choice to bring in Brejae Washington from third.
The Charge loaded the bases with no outs in that frame, but a double play on Taukeiaho’s ground ball and another groundout off the bat of Koral Costa allowed Ricketts to escape maximum damage after she came in to pitch for starter Kelsey Nunley.
“I think the main thing is that I didn’t think of all the pressure with the bases loaded and no outs,” Ricketts said afterward. “What I was thinking about was trying to pick up my pitchers because they’ve been doing the same for me all season.”
Ricketts later saw Texas place runners on first and second with one out in the top of the seventh, but she posted a strikeout and a groundout to seal the victory.
Nunley earned the win for USSSA (30-8) after tossing four frames and allowing one run on five hits. She struck out four.
Escobedo took the loss after giving up four runs — three earned — on seven hits. The Arizona State alum fanned seven batters on the night.
From the plate, Washington, Mysha Sataraka, Taylor Gadbois, Nadia Taylor and Alisa Goler all collected base hits for Texas.
The Pride saw Kelly Kretschman go 2 for 2 with an RBI. Sierra Romero, Hallie Wilson and Kirsti Merritt all drove in runs for USSSA as well.
The Charge will look to earn a split in the two-game series today when the two clubs meet at 6:05 p.m. at Space Coast Stadium.
Game Time: 7:05 PM ET
Vaultz® Lock it Up! ® Player of the Game: Keilani Ricketts
About Texas Charge
The Texas Charge are an affiliate professional fastpitch softball team competing in the National Pro Fastpitch league. The team, headquartered in New Braunfels, TX, began competition in the league in 2015. The Charge provides elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and inspire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Austin area, the Charge organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and professionalism. Follow the Texas Charge at www.texascharge.net
About National Pro Fastpitch
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Akron Racers, Beijing Shougang, 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.