Pride rally late to top Comets for 11th straight win
Series finale tonight at 7 at USSSA Space Coast Complex
Allexis Bennett steals third during Wednesday night's USSSA Pride game against the Cleveland Comets. The Pride trailed much of the night before rallying for a 3-2 win at the USSSA Space Coast Complex. The Pride have now won 11 in a row.
VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala
The USSSA Pride won their 11th straight game Wednesday night.
But it was the way they did that impressed manager Gerry Glasco.
Because although the Pride made a few mistakes against the Cleveland Comets, they were still able to find a way to come up with two big runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull out a 3-2 victory at the USSSA Pride Space Coast Complex.
“They know they can play better,” Glasco said. “I was really proud of a lot of things about the game. We need to win a game like that. We’ve been coming from behind in all three games in this series.
“I’m proud of them. They know how to win. They’re sticking together really good as a ballclub. We missed some signs (tonight) and we did some things wrong. We’ll get better.”
Trailing 2-1, and with only two hits on the night entering the bottom of the sixth inning, the Pride strung three straight hits together to take the lead.
Jessie Warren led things off with a double. Chelsea Goodacre then singled to right field and took second as Warren scored to tie the game.
Megan Wiggins then delivered the go-ahead run with a single to right-center field.
Rookie Megan Good, who came into the game in the fifth inning, put the Comets down in order in the top of the seventh to close things out. Good was nearly perfect in her 1 1/3 innings of work, walking one and striking out one while not allowing a hit.
“Good was outstanding,” Glasco said. “She’s really a talented young pitcher and she’s getting better every night. She’s got really special stuff. She was an All-American at JMU (James Madison University) and she’s probably the hardest throwing pitcher in the country right now.
“It’s really fun to have her on our ballclub.”
Good, who followed starter Jailyn Ford and Paige Parker to the mound for the Pride, earned her first win as a professional softball player.
“It’s a great feeling, but I wouldn’t be able to do it without my teammates,” Good said. “They made some great plays out there for me tonight. It was a great team effort to come out and win it tonight.”
That defensive prowess was particularly clear in the top of the sixth inning when Wiggins made a diving catch in right field and second baseman Bianka Bell made a nice stop on a ball that looked like it was going to get through to the outfield and threw out Cleveland’s Carly Thomas. Warren then made a nice play on a grounder to third for the final out.
In addition to her go-ahead RBI single and diving catch in the outfield, Wiggins also scored the game’s first run as part of a double steal with teammate Kelly Kretschman.
In addition to stealing second, Kretschman also stole third.
The Pride may have seen their 1-0 lead go away in the top of the third, but their pitching staff and defense kept the game close and their offense came alive at just the right time.
Now, they’re the winners of 11 in a row and sit atop the National Pro Fastpitch standings with a record of 12-3.
The Pride will try to finish off a four-game sweep of their series with the Comets tonight at 7.
“It’s hard to win 11 in a row in this league,” Glasco said. “Really hard. They’re playing really well right now. I’m really proud of them. Our pitching staff is doing a phenomenal job.”
That includes Good, who has a 0.00 ERA in 7.3 innings with one save and now, one win.
She is just one of several rookies – Amanda Lorenz, Sydney Romero, Tran Alvelo, Shay Knighten and Falepolima Aviu (before she got hurt) being the others – who have had a big impact on the team this season.
“When I first came in here, I said all the players were superhumans,” Good said. “They’re good at everything. Being a part of that is amazing. To watch them play and to be able to learn from these players is what I’m here for.
“(I want to learn more) about the game and how they play. … The whole team, they’re so nice and they’re so welcoming.
“They make me feel at home here. It’s a great feeling.”