Bandits Defeat Pride to Extend Winning Streak to 15 on Bandit Legends Night
Rosemont, Ill. – After an opening ceremony of Tammy Williams and Amber Patton having their numbers retired, the Chicago Bandits (37-7) secured a 6-2 victory over the USSSA Pride (32-12) on Saturday.
Williams spent six seasons as a Bandit, winning 2009 Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. She tallied 252 hits on 802 at bats for a .314 career batting average. Patton spent seven seasons with the Bandits where she earned 2012 Defensive Player of the Year and tallied three All-NPF selections. She posted a career batting average of .305.
“Every day was a blast with these teammates and I couldn’t have asked for a better seven years of my life. It’s been absolutely amazing,” Patton said. “Winning a regular season is really hard to do. It’s a daily grind, and you can just tell these girls really get along. That’s the most important thing; the comradery amongst your teammates.”
Early offense got the Bandits to a lead in the first inning. With Amanda Chidester on first base, Brenna Moss grounded into a fielder’s choice. After an Abbey Cheek single, a fielding error by Pride shortstop Sydney Romero allowed Gwen Svekis to reach first and load the bases. Hannah Flippen took advantage on the very next at-bat with a blooper single into left field to score Moss and Cheek.
In the second inning, the Bandits continued to add to their lead. Abby Ramirez hit a leadoff single followed by a Chidester walk to put runners on first and second. Two batters later, Cheek blasted a towering 3-run home run to give the Bandits a comfortable 5-0 lead.
“I knew [Megan Good] was going to bring the power so I just had to stay short and within myself,” said Cheek. “When I fouled the one ball before I hit the home run I saw the ball really well and I knew if I got that pitch again I was going to crush it.”
The Bandits continued to stay hot offensively in the fourth inning. Chidester reached on base with a double in the gap between left and center field. After Caleigh Clifton swapped in as a pinch runner, Brenna Moss hit an RBI single to add an insurance run to the Bandits’ lead.
With the offense clicking early, the pitching staff maintained the Bandits’ advantage and limited the Pride to only 2 runs. Haylie Wagner got the start and pitched an efficient 4.2 innings, giving up only 1 run on 5 hits. Kelly Barnhill came in to relieve Wagner in the middle of the fifth inning and finished the game for the Bandits. In 2.1 innings pitched, Barnhill gave up 3 hits and struck out 2 batters. The only run given up by Barnhill was an Alexa Peterson solo home run in the seventh inning.
The Bandits will look to extend their winning streak to 16 in the regular season finale against the Pride on Sunday, August 11th at 3:05 C.T. at Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont, IL.
ABOUT CHICAGO BANDITS
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch league. Entering their 14th season as a franchise, the Bandits have provided the Chicago area with high-level softball talent and entertainment en route to capturing six regular season titles and four Cowles Cup championships, the most recent coming during the 2016 campaign. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits play at Parkway Bank Sports Complex, one of the premier softball facilities in the nation. Parkway Bank Sports Complex is the only stadium in the country built exclusively for a women’s professional softball team. The Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch softball players to further their careers at the professional level and has included legendary figures such as Jennie Finch, Tammy Williams and Stacy May-Johnson.