Romero home run one of many firsts for Pride rookies
Win streak now at 14 after 10-0 win
USSSA Pride rookie Sydney Romero (center) is greeted at the plate by teammates (from l-r) Chelsea Goodacre, Megan Wiggins and Amanda Lorenz after hitting her first home run as a professional softball player during a 10-0 win over the Beijing Eagles Tuesday night.
VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala
The USSSA Pride’s 10-0 run-rule victory over the Beijing Eagles Tuesday night was highlighted by a number of firsts for three rookies.
* Sydney Romero hit her first home run as a pro.
* Pitcher Megan Good got the start … at first base. She also went 2-for-2 at the plate for her first hits as a pro.
* Kat Moore made her first career start in center field for the Pride and went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
And to top it all off, Alex Powers got a chance to play third base for the first time since her senior year at Eau Gallie High School. She also drove in two runs with … a sacrifice fly.
Yep, it was that kind of night for the Pride, who won their 14th game in a row. They’re now 11-0 on their 13-game homestand at the USSSA Space Coast Complex and at 15-3, hold a slight lead over the 14-3 Chicago Bandits.
The Pride will close out their series with the Eagles tonight at 7 and on Thursday at 6:30 before hitting the road for six games in Cleveland and Chicago.
One night after Jolene Henderson threw the first perfect game in USSSA Pride history, it was time for the bats to come alive against an Eagles team with the second-highest team ERA (3.11) in the National Pro Fastpitch league.
Rookie Amanda Lorenz went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI for the Pride. It was after that double lead-off double in the bottom of the first that Romero drove a pitch over the left-field fence for her first home run as a pro.
“It was exciting,” Romero said. “I was rounding the bases with a huge smile on my face.
“Running into my teammates (at home plate) was even better.”
The Pride would go on to score five runs in that first inning. Chelsea Goodacre had an RBI triple and would later score on an RBI single by Jessie Warren. Bianka Bell’s RBI single would make it 5-0.
It would stay that way until the bottom of the fourth when, once again, the Pride would score five times.
Moore had two hits in the inning – a lead-off double and an RBI single – showing off her incredible speed both times.
Alexa Peterson missed a home run by inches, settling for a double. Moments later, Good also just missed hitting one out and wound up with a triple.
One of the more curious plays of the inning came when Powers hit a fly ball to the right side to bring in one run, and when the Eagles seemed to take their time getting the ball back into the infield, Peterson broke for home and beat the throw to make it a two-run sacrifice fly.
Warren, Good and Moore would all have two hits on the night for the Pride, who had 14 hits overall.
Meanwhile, the Pride got another solid night on the mound from Jessica Burroughs. She allowed two hits and struck out one in four innings before giving way to Paige Parker, who allowed one hit and struck out one in the top of the fifth inning to close things out.
It was the second straight shutout for the Pride pitching staff and the sixth overall this season. The Pride own the lowest team ERA in the NPF at 1.73.
And as they have done all season, the rookies have continued to thrive in any situation manager Gerry Glasco puts them in.
“This lineup is incredible, even the bench,” Romero said. “Anyone can come in at any time. I’m surrounded by amazing athletes. It’s really cool to be a part of.”
After starring at Oklahoma, Romero certainly seems to have made a quick adjustment to being a pro. She ranks fourth on the team in batting average (.310) and slugging percentage (.439), fifth in hits (13) and runs scored (eight) and is tied with Lorenz for the team lead in stolen bases (six).
She is feeling right at home.
“Coming in, I was a little nervous, but they made me feel comfortable right from the start,” she said. “I think that’s the biggest thing as a rookie, kind of just fitting in. I feel like we do very well.”