Maybe an indication of how Sunday’s encounter against the USSSA Pride was going to go came with the second batter of the game. Anna Miller, the starting pitcher for the Pennsylvania Rebellion, was about to release a pitch when her foot slipped out from under her on the rain-slick rubber and she collapsed to the ground.
It just got worse from there for the Rebellion.
For the second game in a row, the Pride rolled out a strong pitching performance and backed it with a potent hitting attack. The game ended in an 11-1 victory for the Pride at Consol Energy Park.
Midway through this four-game series, the Pride (16-4) have outscored the Rebellion 18-1. The two teams meet against tonight (7:05 p.m.) in a game that will be televised by CBS Sports Net. Bernie Guenther will call the play-by-play and Barbara Jordan will serve as color analyst.
The Rebellion (4-16) are expected to send Sarah Pauly (2-5, 3.89 ERA) against Keilani Ricketts (1-1, 2.52 ERA).
While it might not have made much difference in this game, the Rebellion stranded seven runners on base, including three in the first inning when they got their only run.
“(Not scoring in those situations) is killing us,” said Rebellion manager Stacey Rice. “It’s a snowball effect. Every time we get into those situations, we can’t seem to perform. If we did, you would see a different outcome to the games.”
Miller fell again in the second inning before changing her pitching stance. But it didn’t seem to work out well. The Pride scored a run in each of the first four innings and twice in the fifth, building a 6-1 lead. The Pride would finish with 13 hits. Bryana Walker relieved Miller in the sixth but it didn’t get better. She surrendered a grand slam to pinch-hitter Amanda Kamekona, whose job it is to drive in runs in those situations.
“I haven’t had a grand slam in the league, probably in college,” said Kamekona. “The pitch was up and in and felt good off the bat. I was just looking to make contact, especially since I was down in the count. My role is as a pinch hitter with runners in scoring position. I have three home runs this year and all in a pinch-hitting role.”
Walker loaded the bases when Kristyn Sandberg singled to left, and Andrea Duran got on via a fielder’s choice. One out later Natasha Watley walked and Kamekona smashed a pitch over the left field fence.
“I try to keep things simple,” said Kamekona. It helps to be surrounded by knowledgeable people. It keeps me grounded.”
The Rebellion loaded the bases in the first inning and Angeline Quiochi drove in right fielder Brittney Lindley on a fielder’s choice. But Pride starter Danielle Lawrie got second baseman Jenn Salling to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
The Rebellion got runners to second and third base in the fourth but Lawrie struck out first baseman Briana Hamilton to end the threat. Lindley led off the fifth with a single, and one out later, shortstop Bianca Mejia walked. But Lawrie got designated hitter Courtney Liddle to fly out to short left and catcher Mandy Ogle to pop up to shortstop.
Second baseman Brigette Del Ponte had two hits and scored a run and left fielder Natasha Watley had two hits and scored three times for the Pride. Third baseman Andrea Duran went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run.
“You have to spot up your pitches against them,” Miller said. “When you don’t, they are going to hit you.”
Attendance was 962. … Infielder Lauren Lappin missed the second straight game in this series with a pulled quad muscle, but Rice expects her back at midweek. … Third baseman Lara Andrews got her first start of the season for the Rebellion and went 0-for-1 with a sacrifice bunt.