HOOVER, Ala. – A season that began with a lot of excitement, ended with only nine victories, a different coach and 41 losses.
That was the saga of the Pennsylvania Rebellion’s first season in the National Pro Fastpitch softball league.
That season ended Thursday night with a 3-2 loss to the USSSA Pride in the best-of-3 championship series in Hoover, Ala. The defneding champion Pride won two in a row in this series, 6-0, Wednesday evening and the one-run loss last night.
The Pride will take on either the Chicago Bandits or the Akron Racers in the championship finals.
The Rebellion went 2-10 under Rick Bertagnolli, before he upbruptly resigned, and 7-31 under Stacey Ric, who replaced Bertagnolli.
The Pride built a 2-0 lead early by scoring a run in each of the first two innings off starter Sarah Pauly. Madison Shipman drove in Caitlin Lowe with a double in the first inning and two errors on a steal attempt scored Sharonda McDonald in the second.
The Rebellion scored two runs in the third off starter Kielani Ricketts to tie the game. With one out, Brittney Lindley reached on an error and was sacrificed to second on a sacrifice by Jenn Salling. Bianca Mejia drove in Lindley with a single, then was pinch-run for by Sarah Prezioso. She came around to score on a single by Lauren Lappin to make it 2-2.
The Pride got the winning run on back-to-back doubles by GiOnno DiSalvatore and Kelly Kretschman in the fourth inning.
Pauly gave up three runs, two earned, in 3 1/3 innings and fell top 4-13. Ricketts got the win and Jordan Taylor the save, striking out three of the five batters she faced.