Turnier’s relief effort, Taylor’s bat guide Bandits to third straight win

ROSEMONT — The Bandits were forced to deal with an early exit from starting pitcher Danielle O’Toole due to injury, but powered through to their third consecutive victory to begin the 2018 season, defeating the Cleveland Comets 6-2 Saturday night at Parkway Bank Sports Complex.

After tossing 2.1 shutout innings in her first start of the campaign, O’Toole took a hard line drive off the hand and was replaced by right-hander Shelby Turnier.

Turnier (W, 1-0), who appeared in relief for a third straight night, delivered an impressive performance. The former Central Florida standout scattered three hits across 2.2 innings of work without allowing a run to earn her first victory of the season.

Collectively, Turnier has tossed 4.2 shutout innings in the series, which will conclude with a fourth game at 3:05 p.m. Sunday at Parkway Bank Sports Complex.

Lacey Waldrop and Haylie Wagner combined to close out the game. Matching Turnier’s third straight night of action, Waldrop also appeared in relief for the third consecutive game.

Bandits newcomer Nadia Taylor backed the effort in the circle with a two-hit night and three RBI. A 2017 All-NPF performer with the Texas Charge, Taylor ripped a run-scoring single in the third and a two-RBI double in the fifth to continue her hot start in Chicago.

Fellow first-year Bandits Courtney Gano and Jessie Scroggins also added multi-hit efforts to power the offense. The Bandits have outscored Cleveland 16-2 through the first three games of the series.

Rookie right-hander Randi Rupp suffered the loss for the Comets in her first career start at the professional level. Rupp, coached by NPF legend Cat Osterman at Texas State, managed to keep the Bandits’ bats at bay in the opening two frames before Chicago put up three runs in the third.

Rupp surrendered five runs (four earned) and nine hits across five innings in her debut.

Comets rookie third baseman Chloe Miller delivered the first RBI of the season for Cleveland with a sixth-inning single.

EXTRA INNINGS

— Vaultz Lock It Up! Player of the Game: Nadia Taylor (2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI)

— Attendance: 819

— The Bandits are 3-0 to start a season for the third time in the past four years.

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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