Bandits standouts shine at International Cup
ROSEMONT — Five members of the Chicago Bandits took a break from their NPF schedule to compete with USA Softball at the 2018 International Cup, which concluded Sunday after Team USA Red defeated Japan to capture gold.
Danielle O’Toole, Delaney Spaulding, Courtney Gano, Ally Carda and Paige Lowary took part in the competition and all will return to Rosemont with hardware. Team USA Blue earned bronze after a come-from-behind victory over China.
O’Toole, the second-most utilized pitcher on USA Red throughout the International Cup, picked up the start in the Americans’ showdown against Japan. The southpaw scattered three hits across 3.1 innings of work in a 10-5 win. The Arizona product collected her lone victory of the tournament Thursday in an 11-5 rout of Scrap Yard Fast Pitch.
Fellow USA Red standout Delaney Spaulding shined bright in her native state of California, as well. The Rancho, Cucamonga, California, resident enjoyed a breakout stretch of play on the international stage and ranked among the team’s top three in a number of offensive categories. Spaulding delivered three home runs (second), eight RBI (second) and a .429 clip at the plate (third) to pace the offensive attack. One of her three long balls, a solo shot, came against Japan in Sunday’s gold medal game.
Meanwhile, Gano, Carda and Lowary helped USA Blue to a bronze-medal finish. Gano, a first-year national team member whose mother Rhonda played for Team USA at the 1987 Pan American Games, added one home run and three RBI across seven games. The former Washington standout belted a go-ahead, three-run blast in the fourth inning of a 10-2 win over Mexico on Friday.
Lowary delivered a strong effort in the circle and made five relief appearances for the Americans. The No. 1 overall selection in the 2018 NPF Draft collected a pair of saves and struck out six across eight innings of work. She maintained a respectable 3.50 ERA.
Carda continued to be a two-way threat on the diamond and made an impact on both sides of the plate. The Elk Grove, California, product fanned three in 1.1 innings in the circle. She also added a pair of hits and scored two runs to jumpstart USA Blue’s bats. USA Blue earned a dramatic, extra-inning victory against China after scoring three runs in the eighth of the bronze medal game.
Collectively, USA Red and USA Blue posted a 12-1 mark at the International Cup.
Bandits first-year catcher Sashel Palacios suited up for Team Mexico and appeared in three contests, reaching base once via a walk in a 2-0 win over the Czech Republic.
The bulk of the national team standouts is expected to rejoin the Bandits ahead of two-game series against the Cleveland Comets, which is set to begin at 7:35 p.m. Friday at Parkway Bank Sports Complex.
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.
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.