Comets hold off Aussie Spirit in extra innings

The Aussie Spirit have attracted some young fans at Missouri Western University.

Comets hold off Aussie Spirit in extra innings

After four games between the Aussie Spirit and Cleveland Comets, it’s safe to say the two National Pro Fastpitch teams are evenly matched.

The Comets prevailed 5-4 today in an extra-inning  game in which the lead changed five times.

That tied the season series between the two teams at two wins apiece. The Aussie Spirit have the slightest of edges in runs scored, at 11-10.

The two teams play a double-header at the Spirit’s “home field” in St Joseph, Missouri, on Saturday morning, Australian time. And they will continue their rivalry with Cleveland as hosts in a series beginning next Friday.

NPF Game 31: Cleveland Comets 4, Aussie Spirit 3

Aussie Spirit npf

A local girls’ softball team love their Aussie Spirit boomerangs.

After a scoreless first two innings, the Comets got on the board in the third, when a double by Chloe Miller scored Yuan Huaning.

But the Spirit hit back immediately, helped by some wayward Comet pitching. After two walks and a hit, batter Clare Warwick’s infield hit scored Shannon Keevers to tie the scores. Then Carmelle Sorensen reached on catcher’s interference, scoring Taylah Tsitsikronis and putting the Spirit ahead 2-1.

After Miller tied the game with a solo home run in the top of the fifth inning, the Comets scored two unearned runs in the sixth.

Again, the Spirit hit back, narrowing the deficit on a solo home run by Sorensen in the sixth.

In the bottom of the seventh, trailing by a run, the Spirit strung together singles by Jade Wall, Warwick, and Sorensen to set the scene for a game-tying sacrifice fly by Michelle Cox.

After the Comets scored an unearned run in the top of the eighth inning, the Spirit created an opportunity to score the tying run when Stacey Porter reached on an error and went to third on a double by Tsitsikronis with one out. But high-quality pitching by Cleveland reliever Devin Brown closed the door on any chance of another Spirit comeback.

Starter Ellen Roberts did a solid job for the Spirit, pitching 6.2 innings and allowing three earned runs, with eight strikeouts and four walks. She threw 125 pitches, 79 of them for strikes.