After 12 NPF games between the Aussie Spirit and the Beijing Eagles, it seems the two teams are very evenly matched.
The Spirit and Eagles split a double-header at Embry-Riddle Stadium in Daytona Beach, Florida today, giving them identical 6-6 win-loss records.
Tomorrow the Spirit face a new opponent when they take on the USSSA Pride at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida.
Game 11: Beijing Eagles 5, Aussie Spirit 1
A rainout the previous day forced a hasty revamp of the schedule, with this game starting at the unusual time of 9am.
Perhaps it was due to the early start, but the Spirit struggled in the early going and found themselves trailing 4-0 after two innings.
And with Beijing pitcher Wang Lan dominant, making up that deficit was always going to be a tough task. Wang allowed just three hits, striking out nine and walking none.
After falling further behind in the fifth inning, the Spirit finally got on the scoreboard in the sixth. Tabitha Callander led off with a double, advanced to third on a single by Erin Thras and scored in an RBI fielder’s choice by Stacey McManus.
Pitching duties were shared by Katie Donovan and Stephanie Trzcinski. Donovan allowed three earned runs in 3.1 innings, striking out three and walking two. Trzcinski pitched 2.2 innings for one earned run on six hits and no walks.
Game 12: Aussie Spirit 2, Beijing Eagles 0
Monica Perry pitched her best game since joining the Aussie Spirit to shut out the Beijing Eagles and allow the Spirit to split the double-header with a 2-0 win in the second game.
Perry was in complete control from the start, striking out five and walking none while allowing five scattered hits. She threw 97 pitches for the game, 65 of them for strikes.
After a scoreless first three innings, the Aussies broke through with a run in the fourth. Taylah Tsitsikronis led off with a walk, and Verity Long-Droppert reached safely on a bunt. Both advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Clare Warwick, then Tsitsikronis scored on an RBI grounder by Jessica Torpey.
The Spirit added an insurance run in the fifth inning after Tabitha Callander was hit by a pitch and Tamieka Whitefield reached on a fielder’s choice, advancing to second on a single by Stacey McManus. Tsitsikronis then had the biggest hit of the game, a double down the left field line, to score Whitefield and give the Aussies a 2-0 lead.