Aussie Spirit take another step forward

A big crowd gathered at T-Bone Stadium in Kansas City to watch the Aussie Spirit take on the USSSA Pride.

Aussie Spirit take another step forward

Even in defeat, the Aussie Spirit demonstrated how much they have improved over the course of their debut National Pro Fastpitch season.

The Aussie Spirit lost 2-1 to the USSSA Pride at T-Bone Stadium in Kansas City today.

The USSSA Pride have been the dominant team in the 2018 NPF, compiling a 25-1 win-loss record.

 Aussie Spirit npf

Clare Warwick scored the Aussie Spirit’s only run against the USSSA Pride.

When the teams last met, in a six-game series in May-June, the Pride won all six games by a combined score of 49-2.

In that context, a 2-1 loss shows considerable improvement in just over a month as the Aussie Spirit benefit from NPF experience and the influx of some new players who were unavailable in the early part of the season.

The Aussie Spirit remain in third place in the five-team NPF league with a 13-27 record. They play the Pride again in the second game of a six-game series at 10am tomorrow AEST.

NPF Game 40: USSSA Pride, Aussie Spirit 1

Fresh from a series win against the Chicago Bandits, the Aussie Spirit handed the ball to Justine Smethurst for the tough assignment against the all-conquering USSSA Pride.

Smethurst certainly did her job, allowing just one earned run on three hits and two walks, striking out eight in 4.2 innings.

Reliever Amelia Cudicio kept the lid on the Pride, pitching 2.1 scoreless innings and allowing just two hits, with two strikeouts.

Pride pitcher Jolene Henderson put in a stellar performance, shutting down the Spirit offence by allowing just one hit and no walks while striking out nine.

The Aussie Spirit’s lone run came in the fifth inning after Clare Warwick broke up the no-hitter with a single, went to third on consecutive ground-outs by Stacey McManus and Belinda White, then came home on a double steal.