Spirit fall to Eagles in first NPF road game

Taylah Tsisikronis blasts another home run, her third in as many games against the Beijing Eagles.

Spirit fall to Eagles in first NPF road game

Game 4: Beijing Eagles 5, Aussie Spirit 1

The Aussie Spirit’s first road game of their inaugural National Pro Fastpitch season ended with a 5-1 loss to the Beijing Eagles in Springfield, Missouri.

Travelling about three hours from their home base at Missouri Western University, the Spirit offence never really got going against Beijing pitcher Wang Lan.

Aussie Spirit

Amelia Cudicio pitches for the Spirit against Beijing.

Taylah Tsitsikronis provided all of the Spirit’s offence with a towering home run over left field in the fourth inning. It was her third home run in as many games, having homered in both games of the double-header the previous day.

But other than Tsitsikronis, the Australians struggled against Wang, who pitched a complete seven-inning game and allowed just one earned run, with five strikeouts and no walks.

Verity Long-Droppert and Belinda White were the only other Spirit players to hit safely.

Amelia Cudicio, who has been the Spirit’s workhorse in the early part of the season, pitched four innings, allowing four earned runs on eight hits and one walk.

The Aussie Spirit welcomed a new player to their NFP team with the signing of Taylor-Paige Stewart.

Young Spirit fan Sophie.

Stewart is an American-based pitcher who represents New Zealand in international softball competitions due to her parents being Kiwis.

Within hours of joining the team, Stewart found herself in the middle of the action, called on in relief of Cudicio.

She handled the situation very well, pitching three innings and allowing just one unearned run on three hits and no walks, with one strikeout.

Stewart had a stellar college career with the University of Wisconsin, where she won 17 games in her senior year and an ERA of 2.61, leading the highly ranked Badgers in most pitching categories including wins, strikeouts and saves.

She has represented New Zealand at World Championship and Junior World Championship level.

Stewart will help the ease the Aussie Spirit’s shortage of pitching during a busy early-season schedule when some of the Australian players are not available.

The defeat takes the Aussie Spirit’s win-loss record to 2-2.

Their next assignment in the hectic early-season schedule is a double-header against the Eagles at the same venue tomorrow.

Aussie Spirit

The field in Springfield, Missouri where the Aussie Spirit played their first road game of the NPF season.