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Bandits hand Pride first loss of season

ROSEMONT — A three-run first inning powered the Bandits to a 5-3 win over the previously undefeated USSSA Pride on Friday night at Parkway Bank Sports Complex.

Bandits center fielder Sammy Marshall, who later made a highlight reel, full-extension snag in center field, opened up scoring with an RBI triple down the line in right. Marshall reached base twice in the game and scored a run to earn Vaultz Lock It Up! Player of the Game honors.

Marshall’s run-scoring triple ignited a strong start for the league-leading Bandits, who tacked on two more in the frame behind an RBI single from catcher Sashel Palacios and a sacrifice fly from first baseman Courtney Gano.

The three runs, combined with a two-run homer off the bat of designated player Kristyn Sandberg, provided enough offense to back a tag team effort in the circle between Ally Carda, Aleshia Ocasio, Rachele Fico and Paige Lowary.

Carda earned her fifth start of the season and settled for a no-decision after the right-hander tossed the first 2.1 innings, allowing one unearned run on two hits. The former Texas Charge standout gave way to rookie right-hander Aleshia Ocasio in the third.

Pride left fielder Megan Wiggins welcomed Ocasio to the circle with a towering two-run blast, but the right-hander managed to settle the ship and maintain the Bandits’ lead before head coach Stacey Nuveman Deniz opted to turn to the bullpen again with Rachele Fico.

Fico supplied an impressive performance in relief and allowed just one hit across 1.2 innings of work. The veteran right-hander’s effectiveness guided her to win No. 4 of the season.

Lowary, recently named to the United States National Team roster ahead of the International Cup, continued to deliver a solid string of efforts out of the bullpen. The southpaw standout and No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NPF Draft closed out the game to collect the save.

Second-year southpaw Delaney Gourley suffered the loss for the Pride and fell to 1-1 on the season.

The Bandits (19-3) and Pride (16-1) will continue their three-game series with a 7:35 p.m. contest Saturday at Parkway Bank Sports Complex. The game will be broadcast via NPFTV.

For more information about the Chicago Bandits or to purchase tickets to any home game during the remainder of the 2018 season, please visit chicagobandits.com or call the box office at 877-722-6348.

EXTRA INNINGS

— Attendance: 930

— Vaultz Lock It Up! Player of the Game: Sammy Marshall (1-for-2, 3B, RBI, R)

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.

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