Bandits Drop Game One but Split Doubleheader After Explosive Scoring Affair in Game 2
After snapping their fourteen game win streak, the Chicago Bandits weren’t looking to start a streak in the opposite direction. A close, home run derby style loss was immediately followed by an offesnsive explosion of a win as the Bandits earn the split.
Game 1: 5-3 Peppers
Much like yesterday, the Bandits and Peppers took their time breaking into the scoring, but unlike yesterday, Chicago struck first.
After three expert innings of pitching from Danielle O’Toole, Gwen Svekis kissed the scoreless tie goodbye in the fourth with a solo home run to left center to bring the Bandits into the lead. Amanda Chidester decided to get in on the fun herself, rocking her own solo home run to the exact same spot for back-to-back home runs.
The Peppers didn’t allow the lead for long — Verity Long-Droppert answered with a home run in their half of the fourth to cut the Bandits lead in half.
Stephanie Trzcinski entered the game in the fifth for Aussie’s starting pitcher Coley Ries, but that didn’t stop Alyssa DiCarlo from hitting her first NPF home run to increase the lead once more.
O’Toole shut the door in the Peppers half of the fifth but was replaced by Savannah Heebner after Jade Wall hit a two-run home run to tie the game. That wouldn’t be the only two-RBI hit of that inning; Madeline Cameron doubled later in the inning to score Michelle Cox and Tahli Moore to bring in the last two runs of the game and give Aussie the 5-3 winning score.
Game 2: 17-0 Bandits (5 innings)
The Bandits came back to their winning ways in explosive fashion in game two, bringing in 17 runs. Starting pitcher Kelly Barnhill pitched four shutout innings, posting five strikeouts and no hits.
Hannah Flippen was at it again, blasting another home run with Aleshia Ocasio on base for two RBI. Following a Brenna Moss groundout, Gwen Svekis and Amanda Chidester both singled to reach. An eight-pitch at-bat for Abbey Cheek proved successful as she hit an RBI double to score Svekis. Nadia Taylor joined in on the RBI, hitting a double to score Chidester and Alyssa DiCarlo followed suit — her double scored Taylor and Cheek, bringing the inning’s final tally to 6-0.
After a Peppers pitching change to bring in Tarni Stepto and a scoreless fourth, the Bandits were back for more. Chicago was able to capitalize on a fielding error by Aussie to start the inning with Chidester reaching on a misplay of a ground ball. With pinch runner Jenna Lilley aboard, Cheek advanced her to second with a single. Next at-bat, Taylor took a pitch to the leg, advancing all runners and loading the bases. DiCarlo saw the opportunity and took it, managing a bloop double that would score both DJ Sanders (pinch running for Cheek) and Lilley to make it 8-0.
Tarni Stepto was replaced after walking Aleshia Ocasio, and the Peppers returned to their original pitcher Ellen Roberts but it didn’t take long for the Bandits to figure out this pitching change. Courtney Gano came into pinch hit for Abby Ramirez and doubled to drive in two more runs. A sacrifice fly and two singles by Flippen, Svekis and Sanders respectively drove in three more runs.
Two misplays — one on a Jessie Scroggins single and another on an Ocasio triple — drove in four more runs, driving several nails into the coffin of this win against Aussie.
Baserunning proved to help the Bandits as they at one point had the bases loaded with all pinch runners.
Chicago will take the field tomorrow in Mankato one last time this series to try and string together two wins. First pitch will be thrown at 6:05 p.m. CST.
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.