Andi, Pride off to fast start

Andi Williamson

Andi Williamson and the USSSA Florida Pride are off to a fast start to the National Professional Fastpitch season.

The Pride, the two-time defending NPF champs, are 13-6 and in second place in the five-team professional women’s softball league.

Williamson, a Chapmanville Regional High School graduate and Harts native, is in her first season with the Pride after spending her first two seasons with the Chicago Bandits.

Williamson has made three pitching appearances in relief with the Pride so far this season and is 0-0 with a 3.50 ERA. She has tossed four innings and has allowed two earned runs on four hits with four strikeouts and four walks.

The Pride has a six-man pitching staff, led by veteran Cat Osterman who is 5-2 with a 1.47 ERA. She’s tossed 47.2 innings and has struck out 79 batters.

Jordan Taylor (1-1, 0.48 ERA), Chelsea Thomas (3-1, 1.46 ERA), Keilani Ricketts (2-1, 2.42) and Hannah Rogers (1-1, 4.91) are also on the staff.

Chicago is in first place in the NPF standings with a 19-6 record. The Pride is second and the Akron Racers are third at 12-12. The expansion Dallas Charge is fourth place at 8-14 and the Pennsylvania Rebellion are last at 5-19.

The Pride have won their last three games, winning 4-1 at Akron on Tuesday night and taking a two-game series over the Rebellion July 3-4 at Maumee, Ohio, by the scores on 4-0 and 5-2. On June 29-July 2, The Pride split a four-game series at Chicago, winning 3-2 and 3-2 and falling 7-0 and 2-0.

The Pride was scheduled to play a doubleheader at Akron on Wednesday before finishing up the four-game set with the Racers on Thursday.

Then it’s off to Washington, Pa., July 10-12 four a four-game series at Pennsylvania.

The Pride host the Bandits July 13-16 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla.

Williamson came to Florida during the off-season when she was traded for Alexa Peterson and the 25th overall pick in the NPF College Draft.

In 2014 with the Bandits, Williamson was 3-3 with a 2.84 ERA. She hurled 49.1 innings and struck out 24 batters with Chicago.

Back in 2013 in her rookie season with the Chicago Bandits, Williamson was signed as a free agent and posted a 9-2 record and had the league’s third-lowest ERA. She started 13 games, fanning 50 in a 75.1-inning worksheet and was named as the NPF Rookie of the Year.

Williamson pitched three seasons at Marshall University and was 33-18 with a 1.93 ERA in her senior season in 2013, leading the Herd to the NCAA Tournament. She struck out a team-record 364 batters and led Marshall to a 4-2 post-season record, including a Conference USA championship and a victory over Notre Dame in the NCAA tourney.

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