ROSEMONT, Ill. - After a long, hard battle in a best-of-three series, the USSSA Pride captured the 2013 National Pro Fastpitch Championship Series title with a 2-1 win over the regular season champion Chicago Bandits.
The Pride bounced back after a tough loss Friday to the Bandits in the final inning of game one. In response to the opening loss, and with their backs to the wall, the Pride answered Saturday by winning back-to-back games to claim the 2013 NPF Title.
USSSA tied the series in game one with a 5-0 win over Chicago. A home run from the Pride's Andrea Duran entering the bottom of the sixth inning gave the Pride a 2-0 lead over the Bandits. USSSA's offense scored three more times in the bottom of the sixth. The Bandits offense was unable to respond to the Pride's ace starter, Cat Osterman, as they fell to the Pride.
With the NPF Final Series tied at one apiece, the Series pushed to the maximum number of games to settle the championship. The Pride took the lead early in the game when Andrea Duran hit a double to center field over Megan Wiggins, allowing Kristyn Sandberg to score. Chicago’s ace Monica Abbott shut it down from there, striking out the next two hitters in Megan Willis and Ashley Charters to end the inning.
No more runs hit the scoreboard until the fourth inning when Sandberg blasted a line drive home run over the fence in left field. The Bandits offense responded in the bottom of the fourth with Eri Yamada getting on base off a double to left field. Alisa Goler followed with an RBI single scoring Yamada.
In the bottom of the fifth, with 2 outs and the bases loaded against Pride starter Keilani Ricketts, USSSA skipper J.T. D'Amico relieved with his ace, Cat Osterman. Osterman immediately ended the threat by striking out Alisa Goler to conclude the inning.
The Bandits went up to bat in the bottom of the seventh down 2-1. Initially retiring Galindo and pinch hitter Nerissa Myers set up a final showdown between the NPF Pitcher of the Year, Osterman, and Player of the Year, Megan Wiggins. Osterman would win the final battle, striking out Wiggins for the championship title.
The win marked the second NPF Championship Series title for the Pride (2010) while Osterman was named the NPF Series Most Valuable Player for the second time in her career.