CORPUS CHRISTI (CC Hooks) - Cat Osterman made the most of her final start on Texas soil, striking out 12 in six innings as the USSSA Pride thumped Akron 13-2 at Whataburger Field Friday night before 2,828.
Osterman (3-0) limited the racers to three hits and two walks. She struck out the side in the second and third frames. The former University of Texas star and two-time Olympian retired the first seven she faced and nine of the last 11. In the process, Osterman notched her 45th National Pro Fastpitch victory.
Pride reliever Blaire Luna, a rookie from UT, fanned two in a 1-2-3 seventh.
The Pride (5-1) jumped to a 3-0 first-inning lead. Kristyn Sandberg's screaming double to left sent Caitlin Lowe and Natasha Watley homeward. Lowe was struck by a pitch and Watley reached on pitcher Erin Arevalo's throwing error. Sandberg traversed the final 120 feet when GiOnna DiSalvatore singled to right-center.
Matters worsened for Arevalo (0-2) and the Racers during the second. The Pride blew the game wide open, sending 15 batters to the plate in a nine-run, six-hit, one-error, five-walk assault. DiSalvatore contributed a two-RBI double and Andrea Duran, Francesca Enea, Nikia Williams, Sandberg and Lowe drove in single runs.
Reliever Jen Mineau failed to stop the bleeding, yielding four runs on three hits and three free passes.
Charlotte Morgan opened the fourth with a lead-off home to right for Akron (1-5). Jessica Shults homered to dead center for the Pride an inning later.
The four-game NPF Coastal Classic concludes with a doubleheader Saturday at 2:30.
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