Andi has debut with USSSA Florida Pride

Andi Williamson is breaking in with her new team, the USSSA Florida Pride.

The Pride, the two-time defending National Professional Fastpitch championship women’s softball team, are currently off to a 6-2 start to the 2015 summer season after winning 6-2 over the Akron Racers in Akron, Ohio.

Williamson, a Harts native and former pitcher for the Chapmanville Regional High School Lady Tigers and the Marshall University Thundering Herd, made her Pride pitching debut in relief in a June 15 game at Dallas against the Dallas Charge.

Williamson is in her third season of pro ball in the NPF.

She played two seasons for the Chicago Bandits, leading the team to the 2013 championship series and being named as the league’s Rookie of the Year.

Williamson recently finished up another season of professional ball in the Japanese Women’s Pro League, where she plays for Team Toda.

The Pride’s pitching staff is led by eight-year pro Cat Osterman, a former Texas Longhorn and the NPF’s top hurler.

Other Pride pitchers include: three-year pro Chelsea Thomas of Missouri; Keilani Ricketts of Oklahoma; Hannah Rogers of Florida; and Jordan Taylor of Michigan.

Osterman has had a dominating start to the 2015 season with 36 strikeouts in 20 innings of work. She has a 3-0 record and has allowed only eight base hits all season.

Other top stars for the Pride are rookie Shelby Pendley, who started off her first pro season with a 4-for-4 performance against the Charge and currently sports a .391 average; Kelly Kretschman, who is hitting a hefty .583; Megan Wiggins, who is batting .625; and center fielder Natasha Watley.

The Pride have played all of their games so far on the road or at neutral sites.

The team opened with a four-game sweep at Dallas, winning 10-2, 3-1, 4-3 and 4-1 on June 6-9.

The Pride and the Charge then played a three-game series in Kansas City as Dallas won 5-2 and 4-1 and lost 6-0.

The Pride were slated to play at Akron on Monday night in Game 2 of the three-game series. Game 3 is set for Tuesday night.

Then it’s off to Pennsylvania where the Pride are set to play a three-game set against the Rebellion Jun 25-27.

The road swing continues with a four-game series at Chicago June 29 through July 2 as Williamson will take on her former Bandits’ team.

The Pride then play another three-game series at Pennsylvania July 10-13 before having their home-opening series against Chicago July 13-16 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Kissimmee, Fla.

Williamson posted a 33-18 record and 1.93 ERA with 364 strikeouts in her senior season at Marshall in 2013 before turning pro.

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