Bandits Take Both Games of Series Against Pride
Rosemont, Il. – Even though the USSSA Pride had defeated the Bandits in all four previous matchups this season, the Bandits refused to give in over the weekend, taking both games of the shortened two game series against the Pride.
Game 1: Bandits 10, Pride 2
Backed by the hot bat of Amanda Chidester, the Bandits offense exploded for ten runs in the first game of the series and defeated the Pride by a score of 10-2.
Chidester recorded her second two-home run game of the week and finished with 5 RBIs. With these two home runs, Chidester’s season total is now at 13, which places her in a tie for the third most home runs in a single season in NPF history.
Along with Chidester’s big day, eight other Bandits also recorded at least one hit to help the team tie their second highest run total of the season.
Starting pitcher Kelly Barnhill went four innings for the Bandits, allowing two runs on seven hits, four walks and six strikeouts. The final three innings were pitched by Haylie Wagner, who allowed no runs on two hits, with two walks and two strikeouts.
The Pride got on the board first, scoring two runs on singles by Sydney Romero and Jessie Warren in the bottom of the second inning. A strikeout by Barnhill ended the inning with runners on second and third.
The Bandits didn’t wait for long to strike back, as a two-run home run by Courtney Gano tied the game in the top of the third inning. After Ramirez’s single, Chidester gave the Bandits their first lead of the day with a two-run home run.
A rain delay after Brenna Moss hit a single in the third inning caused the rest of the game to get played on Saturday. Once again, the Bandits wasted no time scoring, as an Abbey Cheek groundout plated Moss from third, making the score 5-2.
Neither team was able to mount much of a rally again until the top of the seventh inning, when the Bandits pushed across five more runs thanks to a three-run home run by Chidester and a two-run home run by Cheek. This tremendous seventh inning rally made the score 10-2 in favor of the Bandits, where it stayed for the rest of the game.
Game 2: Bandits 4, Pride 3
Immediately following the blowout in the first game of the short series, late-game heroics allowed the Bandits to defeat the Pride in extra-innings to seal the victory in game two.
Paige Lowary, Savannah Heebner, and Rachele Fico combined to throw eight solid innings for the Bandits, allowing only one earned run on six hits and four walks. Pride pitchers Jolene Henderson and Jailyn Ford managed to keep the Bandits offense in check for most of the game as well, allowing three earned runs on nine hits and two walks.
Just like the first game of the series, the Pride scored first, this time on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the second. The Pride could have scored more in the inning, as they had the bases loaded with nobody out, but an excellent diving play by catcher Gwen Svekis to tag out a runner at home and a double play limited the Pride to only one run. A controversial call at home plate in the bottom of the third inning awarded another run to the Pride, making the score 2-0.
Hannah Flippen opened the scoring for the Bandits in the top of the fourth inning with a solo home run, her sixth of the year. Emily Crane followed suit in the top of the fifth inning by hitting a solo home run of her own, tying the score at 2-2. Ramirez, the next batter, hit a single and advanced to third on a throwing error. After Chidester drew a walk, Moss plated Ramirez with a double, giving the Bandits a 3-2 lead. The Bandits attempted to score a fourth run after a fly ball by Alyssa Dicarlo, but an excellent throw by center fielder Allexis Bennett caught the runner at home to end the inning.
Following a wild pitch and a throwing error, the Pride tied the game at 3-3 in the fifth inning. While both teams managed to get runners on base in the sixth and seventh innings, neither could capitalize, sending the game into extra innings. Leading off the top of the eighth for the Bandits, Moss reached base on a single and immediately stole second base. After a pop out by Dicarlo, Cheek drove Moss in from second to give the Bandits a 4-3 lead. Consecutive groundouts ended the inning for the Bandits, and a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth for the Pride ended the game at 4-3.
Both teams will be back in action on August 5, as the Bandits will begin a four game series against the Beijing Eagles at Parkway Bank Sports Complex, while the Pride will start a four game series against the Aussie Peppers at Caswell Park.
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.