Aussie Spirit finish NPF homestand on a high

The Aussie Spirit after their win against the Cleveland Comets. Pictures: Kaitlyn Doolan

Aussie Spirit finish NPF homestand on a high

A six-game series against the Cleveland Comets finished on a high note for the Aussie Spirit as they won the final game in St Joseph, Missouri.

aussie spirit npf

Jordan Lambert.

After losing the first game of a National Pro Fastpitch double-header 3-2, the Spirit dominated the late game, winning 7-0.

The Aussie Spirit’s win-loss record now stands at 9-24. Their next assignment is a three-game series against the Comets in Akron, Ohio, followed by three games against the Chicago Bandits in Rosemont, Illinois.

NPF Game 32: Cleveland Comets 3, Aussie Spirit 2

In the first game of the double-header, the Spirit looked like falling behind early when the first three Comet batters reached base.

But Spirit starting pitcher Monica Perry made some quality pitches, helped by shortstop Stacey McManus throwing out a runner at home, to keep the Comets off the scoreboard.

It was a similar story in the bottom of the inning. Belinda White and Shannon Keevers both reached on fielding errors, and Taylah Tsitsikronis singled to load the bases. But Cleveland starter Gretchen Aucoin rose to the challenge and kept the game scoreless.

The Comets scored in the top of the third inning on a two-run homer by Shellie Robinson. The Spirit responded with a run after Shannon Keevers singled, went to third on Tsitsikronis’ single and scored on a groundout by Jade Wall.

An inning later they tied the scores when Verity Long-Droppert doubled and scored on Chelsea Robinson’s single up the middle.

But the Comets reclaimed the lead for good in the sixth inning, and again it was Robinson who did the damage, this time with an RBI double.

The Aussies tried to make a late comeback as Jordan Lambert singled to lead off the seventh inning and was sacrificed to second by White. But she was left stranded as relief pitcher Randi Rupp got the final two outs.

Perry pitched the complete game for the Spirit, allowing three runs on eight hits and five walks, with 10 strikeouts.

aussie spirit npf

Belinda White.

NPF Game 33: Aussie Spirit 7, Cleveland Comets 0

An outstanding pitching performance by Jordan Taylor gave the Aussie Spirit some breathing room in the second game of the double-header.

The Spirit wasted no time, with Verity Long-Droppert leading off the first inning with a triple, then scoring the first run on Stacey Porter’s double.

They doubled the lead an inning later when Jade Wall doubled, went to third on Rachel Lack’s bunt single, and scored as Lack was caught stealing.

Taylah Tsitsikronis and Carmelle Sorensen both drove in runs in the fourth inning to give the Spirit a 4-0 lead.

Any chance of a Cleveland comeback was erased by Taylor, who pitched a complete game and struck out 11, allowing just four hits and one walk. Taylor’s effort earned her the award as the Vaultz Lock It Up Player of the Game.

In case insurance runs were needed, the Spirit piled on three in the sixth inning with base hits by Tsitsikronis, Wall, Clare Warwick and Lack.

aussie spirit npf

Encouraged by third base coach Kym Tollenaere, Verity Long-Droppert scores.