Aussie Spirit focus on Japan as NPF season ends

The Aussie Spirit have finished their debut season in the National Pro Fastpitch league with a loss to the Cleveland Comets.

Aussie Spirit focus on Japan as NPF season ends

It wasn’t the ideal way to end their debut season in the National Pro Fastpitch league, but the Aussie Spirit can now focus on their main goal for 2018.

The Cleveland Comets won the Spirit’s final game of the NPF season with a walk-off triple at Buckeye Field in Columbus, Ohio.

The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Spirit, who still took the three-game series against the Comets 2-1.

aussie spirit npf

Taylah Tsitsikronis.

The Spirit finished their season with a 16-32 win-loss record and are in third place in the NPF standings, although positions can change because other teams still have games to play.

The Aussie Spirit’s next mission is in Japan, where they will compete in the XVI Women’s Softball World Championship in Chiba from August 2-12.

NPF Game 48: Cleveland Comets 2, Aussie Spirit 1

Having not conceded a run in their past four games, the Aussie Spirit would have felt pretty good about their chances when Clare Warwick launched a solo home run that hit the left field foul pole in the second inning.

But the Cleveland Comets, eager to end their recent scoreless streak, bounced back with a home run of their own, as Alexa Peterson bounced one off the scoreboard in centre field to tie the scores.

For the next five innings the game was a pitchers’ duel. Aussie Spirit starter Jordan Taylor, making her final 2018 appearance for her adopted team, pitched three strong innings, with four strikeouts and one walk.

Kaia Parnaby, who entered the game with a sub-.100 ERA, struck out eight in 3.1 innings of work, not allowing a hit until Jade Rhodes doubled in the bottom of the seventh inning and scored in a walk-off triple by Shellie Robinson.

After Warwick’s home run, Leigh Godfrey, Chelsea Forkin and Samantha Poole were the only Aussie Spirit players to hit safely as Cleveland pitcher Randi Rupp kept the Spirit offence under control, allowing just the four hits and one walk in a complete game.