NPF Mid Season Recap
With a little over a month to play in the NPF regular season the USSSA Pride will look to keep dominating league play, while Akron, Scrapyard, Chicago, Pennsylvania and Dallas will look to fight over the three other playoff spots.
The Pride has been on a tear throughout the NPF. On July 8th the team was on a ten game win streak which put them five games in front of second place team, the Akron Racers. USSSA is the only team to have single digit losses. The Rebellion and the Bandits look to be battling it out for the final playoff spot. Both teams have middle of the pack lineups; it will come down to the pitching staffs to fight for that final spot. In their inaugural season, the Scrapyard Dawgs have had a solid first half of the 2016 season. The Dawgs are second in the league in pitching with a 3.22 ERA. When the team figures out it’s offensive side, they will be able to do some damage the rest of the year. The Dallas Charge have been struggling with their pitching and defense being last in both categories with a 5.30 ERA and .958 fielding percentage.
Continuing on her tear from last year, 2015 Player of the Year Kelly Kretschman is leading the league in batting with a .508 average. The Pride outfielder also has 18 runs scored, 32 hits, 4 homeruns, and 17 RBIs. The Akron Racers fourth overall pick in this past years draft has been adapting well at the pro level. Sami Fagan an infielder out of Missouri is second in the league in hitting with a .412 average and 22 RBIs. Fagan was known to have one of the best left-handed swings during her college career.
Jolene Henderson leads the league in pitching for the Dallas Charge with a .53 ERA. Last season, Henderson was the first player in team history to be signed for the Charge. The former member of Team USA is 5-0 with four starts and six appearances, with 26.1 innings pitched. Also, Monica Abbot has been dominant for the Scrapyard Dawgs so far this season. The former National Player of the Year for Tennessee leads the league with ten starts, 94 strikeouts, nine wins, and 64.2 innings pitched. The left-hander also has a .87 ERA, five complete games, and is holding opponent hitters to a .151 batting average.
Prediction: USSSA and Scrapyard will meet in Tuscaloosa for the Championship series. Right now, USSSA is clicking with their lineup offensively and defensively. The Dawgs have a good pitching staff; if they are able to figure out their issues offensively they are going to be a very dangerous team to play.