The Aussie Spirit now have a three-game winning streak after an impressive victory over the Beijing Eagles in Florida.
After winning both games of a double-header the previous day, the Spirit could have been forgiven for having a letdown. But a combination of timely hitting and solid pitching led to a 5-3 win, which took their win-loss record in their inaugural National Pro Fastpitch season to 5-5.
The same teams will play a single game at Embry-Riddle Stadium in Daytona Beach, tomorrow morning (AEST).
Game 10: Aussie Spirit 5, Beijing Eagles 3
The Aussie Spirit went to work early, sparked by leadoff hitter Shannon Keevers who singled and stole second base. Catcher Belinda White then singled, driving in Keevers to open the scoring.
The second inning was even better for the Spirit. Chelsea Robinson led off with a single, stole second and scored on Keevers’ single. After Keevers stole second again, she scored on a single by Stacey McManus to give the Spirit a 3-0 lead.
Beijing reduced the deficit with an unearned run in the third inning on an RBI single by Li Qi.
In the fifth inning, McManus reached on a fielding error and was sacrificed to second by Taylah Tsitsikronis. Again it was White who came through, driving in McManus with a single before scoring on a double by Jessica Torpey.
That gave the Aussies a 5-1 lead, but the Eagles fought back with two runs in the bottom of the fifth on RBIs by Wang Mengyan and Victoria Draper.
Any chance of a comeback by the Eagles was snuffed out by Spirit pitcher Amelia Cudicio, who continued her strong start to the season with another three scoreless innings in which she allowed only one hit and no walks, with two strikeouts.
Until then, the pitching duties had been shared by Taylor-Paige Stewart, who did not allow an earned run in three innings, and Stephanie Trczinski, who gave up one run in the fourth inning.