Bandits end perfect season for Pride at Space Coast
VIERA, Fla. — The Chicago Bandits earned their second victory over the USSSA Pride during the 2018 campaign with a 5-3 win in the series finale Saturday night at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida. The win snapped the Pride’s 23-game win streak at home, dating back to the 2017 season.
Courtney Gano ignited the offense for the Bandits after the rookie launched a two-run homer, her second of the season, in the opening frame.
Gano’s blast staked starting pitcher Shelby Turnier out to an early 2-0 lead and the right-hander received additional run support off the bats of Sammy Marshall, Brenna Moss and Jessie Scroggins.
Turnier, who departed after three innings and settled for a no-decision, delivered a strong start back in her home state. The Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, product and former Central Florida standout scattered three hits across her three innings of work. She struck out three and did not walk about to solidify her resume as an Pitcher of the Year candidate.
However, the Pride managed to creep back into the game against Bandits reliever Ally Carda. The second-year right-hander allowed three runs and issued a trio of walks in her one inning of work.
Veteran right-hander Lacey Waldrop entered to face four batters before turning the ball over to southpaw Haylie Wagner. The fourth-year pro earned the win after she shut down the powerful Pride offense to close the contest.
Wagner (W, 5-2) kept Chicago’s 5-3 advantage in check and managed to work out of jams with the potential tying run aboard in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. She fanned three and allowed just two hits.
USSSA right-hander Kelsey Nunley (L, 5-1) suffered her first loss of the season.
The Bandits will continue their nine-game road trip Tuesday when they travel to face the Cleveland Comets. First pitch in the series opener is set for 6 p.m. at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio.
For more information about the Chicago Bandits or to purchase tickets to the upcoming 2018 NPF Championship Series between the Bandits and Pride, please visit chicagobandits.com or call the box office at 877-722-6348.
Records: Bandits (29-9), Pride (38-3)
Vaultz Lock It Up! Player of the Game: Haylie Wagner (W, 2.1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K)
The Pride last suffered a loss at home against the Beijing Shougang Eagles on Aug. 9, 2017.
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 have included legendary figures such as Jennie Finch, Tammy Williams and Stacy May-Johnson.