O’Toole Wins Pitching Duel Against Parnaby as Bandits Edge Peppers, 1-0
ROSEMONT, Ill. —Danielle O’Toole threw a complete four-hit shutout, leading the Bandits to a 1-0 victory to clinch a series win.
O’Toole and Peppers ace Kaia Parnaby were locked in a pitchers’ duel right from the outset. Before the Bandits broke through, the biggest scoring chance came in the Peppers’ half of the second. The visitors loaded the bases on a pair of two-out singles and an error, but Jessie Scroggins made a nice running catch on Leigh Godfrey’s drive in right field to keep the game scoreless.
“That play is a game-changing play that Scroggins made in right field,” Bandits Coach Lauren Lappin said. “I’m not sure that anyone else, other than Brenna [Moss], no one else on the field makes that play. That was a crucial point in the game.”
Chicago put a pair of runners on base in the third, but Parnaby got Moss to ground back to the circle to escape. O’Toole retired seven in a row and worked around a leadoff single in the sixth, setting the stage for the Bandits to crack the scoreboard.
Alyssa DiCarlo led off with a walk and Clifton pinch-ran for her at first. With one out, Moss hit a line drive that Parnaby knocked down, but she could only get the out at first and Clifton advanced to second. Chidester then singled into center, and Clifton beat the throw to the plate to give Chicago the lead.
“We faced a fantastic pitcher, one of the best in the world, in Parnaby,” Lappin said. “For us to figure out a way to scratch a run across on the board was huge. Chidester’s a leader for us, so for her to have a composed at-bat and drive a ball up the middle was awesome.”
O’Toole made sure the run stood up in the seventh, ending the game with her seventh strikeout of the night.
The Bandits improved to 8-0 in one-run games this season, which Lappin attributed to their strong pitching and defense.
“We’ve been playing great defense behind our pitchers, and our pitchers have been executing pitches with tight games on the line,” Lappin said. “We feel good about our chances no matter what, but if we have a one-run lead going into the last inning, we’re going to lock it down.”
Chicago will look to complete the sweep on Saturday evening, with first pitch scheduled for 7:35 p.m. CT at Parkway Bank Sports Complex.
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.