There is no doubt that the Pride dominated the league this year. They had a 40-9 record and had some unbelievable individual achievements as well. Certainly Kelly Kretschman tops that list - her final numbers for the season: .500 AVG; .623 OBP; .793 SLG. That is so incredible, especially the AVG. She got a hit in half of her at-bats. Crazy. As for her defense, she had a clean sheet - no errors for the year in the outfield. Kretschman was incredible, but the Pride were not a one-horse team, as other players made notable contributions to the offense as well. Shelby Pendley smacked 13 home runs, and Megan Wiggins scored a team-leading 34 runs. Having several players who contributed to the offense was surely one of the keys to success for the Pride.
What about pitching? The Pride were also top-notch in this area. Six of their seven pitchers had sub 2 ERAs. Jordan Taylor led the charge finishing with a .995 ERA. The worst ERA for the team at the end of the season was Kelsey Nunnley's 2.217. Just to put that in perspective - her "team worst" ERA would put her in top 3 ERAs for every other team in the league!!! Keilani Ricketts led the team in strike percentage (71.922%); strikeouts (72); and wins (10). All in all, the Pride got it done on the mound this year; an incredible team performance.
So how could a team that is firing on all cylinders not take home the championship? They ran into a buzzsaw named Monica Abbott! Someone already posted about Abbott's performance in the Championships, so I will do more of a broad recap of her incredible season. She finished with a 1.096 ERA; 213 strikeouts; 17 wins; 6 shutouts; and 1 no hitter. These numbers are truly incredible! Let's look at them one by one
1.096 ERA - second best in the league after Jordan Taylor.
213 SO - the only person who came close to touching Abbott was Dallas Escobedo with 114 strike outs; a full 100 fewer than Abbott. Ridiculous!!!
17 wins - the next closest was the Bandits' Haylie Wagner with 11. Abbott earned just about half of her team's 31 wins and
accounted for only 3 of their losses. She carried that team!
6 shutouts - the rest of the league had 13 shutouts COMBINED. Wow.
1 no hitter - Brittany Mack-Oakes of the Charge was the only other player to throw a no-hitter this season.
The Pride as a team are in a class of their own, and Monica Abbott is in a class of her own as a pitcher. It was really special to see these worlds collide in the Championship. Do you think this proves beyond doubt that world-class pitching is the key to winning a Championship? What more can the Pride do to take home the trophy? (besides hoping Abbott has an off-day). What moves should the Pride make in the offseason?