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By Owen Krucoff
Boyds, Md., (7/30/19) – Washington Spirit stars and U.S. women’s national team heroes Mallory Pugh and Rose Lavelle were honored at Nationals Park on Monday as the Nationals defeated Atlanta Braves.
Pugh and Lavelle were celebrated for their important roles in the national team’s run to a fourth World Cup title earlier this summer.
Lavelle, a midfielder, started six games and scored two goals, earning the tournament’s Bronze Ball award, while Pugh, a forward, scored twice in the team’s group stage opener against Thailand.
The two players threw ceremonial first pitches shortly before the game’s 7:05 scheduled start time, and also appeared on the Nationals’ local radio broadcast, 106.7 The Fan, during the game.
In addition, Lavelle and Pugh had the opportunity to meet and greet with the Lerner family, owners of the Washington Nationals.
Lavelle and Pugh experienced a hiccup during their first pitches, as Pugh threw to Lavelle’s catcher, causing Lavelle to pull back on her first attempted throw. Once the players realized the situation, Lavelle completed her throw, leading the two to erupt into laughter on the mound at the confusion.
Pugh and Lavelle were the second set of Spirit players to throw out MLB first pitches in as many days. Defender Tori Huster, goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe and midfielder Bayley Feist were honored on Sunday by their hometown Cincinnati Reds.
The Spirit will return to action this Friday night with a road test against the defending NWSL champion North Carolina Courage. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET, and fans can catch the match on Monumental Sports Network and NBC Sports Washington.