2017 NPF Cowles Cup Championship Goes Three Games in the Final Series
Pride Wins 5-0 Over Dawgs In Game 1 of Final Series
A five-run outburst in the fifth inning and a three-hit shutout from Jolene Henderson provided the USSSA Pride with a 5-0 win over the Scrap Yard Dawgs in Game 1 of the final series of the 2017 NPF Championship.
The Pride (43-9) moved within one win of claiming the title, which they can secure with a win in Game 2 on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Tiger Park on the LSU campus. If the Scrap Yard Dawgs (33-19) force a deciding third game, it will be played at 4 p.m.
Henderson did not allow a single runner to successfully move past second base the entire night in outlasting Scrap Yard Dawgs ace Monica Abbott who fanned nine in 4-1/3 innings.
The Pride were able to break Abbott’s stranglehold in the bottom of the fifth when Megan Wiggins launched a two-run homer to center field to snap the scoreless duel.
Back-to-back singles from Kelly Krestchman and pinch hitter Gionna DiSalvatore kept the pressure on the Scrap Yard Dawgs. In the next at bat, Shelby Pendley took the first offering from reliever Cheridan Hawkins over the center field wall for a three-run shot that stretched the lead to 5-0.
Henderson (9-2) fended off a pair of base runners in the sixth inning and an error in the seventh inning to keep her shutout intact. She struck out six and faced just six over the minimum.
Kretchshman led all players in hits finishing 3-for-4 at the plate. Pendley picked up her second home run of the championship series and increased her RBI total in the event to five.
Alexis Bennett was responsible for two of the three hits collected by the Scrap Yard Dawgs.
Abbott Guides Dawgs to a 2-0 Win in Game 2 of Finals
A solo home run from Nerissa Myers in the fourth inning provided the lead and Monica Abbott guides the Scrap Yard Dawgs the rest of the way in 2-0 win over the USSSA Pride in Game 2 of the final series of the 2017 NPF Championship.
As a result, a deciding third game will be played Sunday afternoon at Tiger Park on the LSU campus to determine which team will raise the Cowles Cup. First pitch is set for 4:05 p.m. (CST).
The Scrap Yard Dawgs (34-19) seek their first-ever league championship while the Pride (43-10) attempt to claim their fourth title overall and first since 2014.
Abbott struck out 14 and hurled a five-hit shutout in improving her season mark to 20-4. She handcuffed the heart of the Pride order, striking out the 3-4-5 hitters of Kirsti Merritt, Shelby Pendley, Chelsea Goodacre all three plate appearances. She’s now recorded 45 strikeouts over 22 innings in the weekend event.
Myers’ solo blast down the right field line ended a scoreless deadlock. Kasey Cooper later tripled and pinch runner Kiki Stokes scored an insurance run on a perfectly placed squeeze bunt by Hannah Flippen.
Back-to-back singles from Megan Wiggins and Kelly Krestchman opened the top of the sixth for the Pride. Abbott bore down and struck out Merritt, Pendley and Goodacre consecutively – a repeat performance of the same situation she was faced with in the fourth inning.
Myers picked up her first homer of the championship series and upped her RBI total to five tying her with USSSA Pride’s Shelby Pendley for the lead in the tournament.
Wiggins and Krestchman both picked two hits to pace the Pride’s offense. They both increased their tournament-leading hits total to six.
Keilani Ricketts yielded both Scrap Yard Dawgs runs in four innings of work. She was relieved one batter into the fifth inning and Hannah Rogers tossed the final two innings.
Scrap Yard Dawgs Claim First Cowles Cup
The Scrap Yard Dawgs claimed their first Cowles Cup in franchise history with a 5-2 win over the USSSA Pride in the winner-take-all contest of the final series in the 2017 NPF Championship held at Tiger Park on the LSU campus.
Rookie Kasey Cooper (Auburn ‘17) charged the offense with three RBI, the bulk coming on a two-run home run in the sixth inning that gave the Scrap Yard Dawgs (35-19) the lead for good.
Monica Abbott pitched her second complete game of the afternoon, limiting the Pride to two runs off four hits while striking out 11. It was Abbott’s two-hit, 14-strikeout performance earlier in the day that forced the decisive third game.
Abbott was named MVP of the NPF Championship series. The Tennessee alum and Scrap Yard Dawgs ace limited foes to 15 hits and struck out 56 over 29 innings in the tournament.
The Pride (43-11), who received a leadoff homer from Megan Wiggins for an early lead, reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the third after Kirsti Merritt delivered a two-out RBI single to score Sierra Romero who reached on a fielding error.
Angel Bunner relieved starting pitcher Kelsey Nunley in the fourth inning and retired the side in her first two innings of work, but yielded the go-ahead homer to Cooper in the sixth inning.
The Scrap Yard Dawgs gave Abbott additional breathing room in the top of the seventh. Meagan May Whitley led off with a solo shot that landed in the left field berm and Cooper later drew a bases loaded walk to force home a run that stretched the lead to 5-2.
Abbott finished the game off in style with consecutive strikeouts of Romero and pinch hitter Gionna DiSalvatore to close out the seventh inning.
Kayla Winkfield led the way with two hits and five others contributed one apiece as the Scrap Yard Dawgs totaled seven in the contest.