Saturday, August 19, 2017

Scrap Yard Dawgs vs. USSSA Pride: 2017 Championship Series Preview

Photo by Lou Roesch, Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Lou Roesch
Special Correspondent for TexSport Publication

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA (August 19, 2017) Saturday night’s National Pro Fastpitch championship series begins as it should be with the two best teams all season long battling it out for the Cowles Cup. The Pride with just nine losses all season dispatched of the Chicago Bandits in a series sweep on Friday evening. The Bandits had won the two previous Cups. The Scrap Yard Dawgs finished second in the regular season and took the series sweep over the Akron Racers to advance to Saturday night’s game one. So how do these two teams match-up?
Both these teams can stroke the ball. Both these teams can hit for power. Both these teams can produce the timely at bat. The Scrap Yard Dawgs in their series winning game against Akron only had three hits but two of those three hits drove home runs and a bases loaded walk produced the other. Three of the Pride’s eight hits in their series win came with runners in scoring position and resulted in two RBI.
Pitching was stellar on both sides in their series wins. The Dawgs allowed Akron just one hit with two outs and one hit with runners on base and none with runners in scoring position. The Pride were just as prodigious allowing Chicago no hits with two outs in seven at bats and just one hit with a runner on base. The Dawgs have Monica Abbott and that’s about all that needs to be said. This season the southpaw has appeared against the Pride three times with two starts. With a record of 1-1, Abbott has allowed 11 hits over 19 innings with 38 strikeouts against 10 walks. Overall, the Dawgs have a 2017 record of 2-8 losing six in a row with five runs scored against the Pride.
Experience has to count for something. The Pride are seeking their fourth Cowles Cup and their first since 2014 when current Dawgs head coach Gerry Glasco was the USSSA head coach. The Scrap Yard team despite this being only their second season in the NPF have built a team for the championship. With a mix of veterans including players like Brittany Cervantes and the right amount of youth like Ali Aguilar combined with mainstays like Megan May Whitley, the team is poised to make history in Baton Rouge.

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