NPF AUGUST 15 UPDATE
Bandits stay in sole possession of first place, blank Pride 8-0
ROSEMONT, Ill. — Coming off a devastating seventh-inning defeat last night, the Chicago Bandits responded with an 8-0 triumph to take back a two-game lead on the USSSA Pride in the National Pro Fastpitch standings.
If Bandits rookie pitcher Andi Williamson (9-2, 1.67 ERA) was intimidated by facing her veteran predecessor Sarah Pauly (9-5, 3.18 ERA) on Thursday night, one certainly couldn’t tell. Williamson pitched a complete game shutout while only allowing six hits and recording seven strikeouts.
The offense certainly helped Williamson as the Bandits lit up the scoreboard early, plating five runs off three hits in the second inning. Tammy Williams led off with a double and Amber Patton drew a walk to put a pair on for Kimi Pohlman. Pohlman’s infield chopper was mishandled at first base, which allowed Williams to score and give the Bandits an early 1-0 lead. That was only the beginning as Chicago went on to score four more runs sparked by Eri Yamada’s double, which scored Patton and Pohlman. Wiggins then stepped up to the plate and smacked her tenth homerun of the season to give Chicago a 5-0 advantage.
The Pride threatened in the third after Lauren Lappin reached on an error and Ashley Charters singled. However a sharp line drive hit to Patton at third allowed her to double off Lappin at second for the double play and keep the Pride scoreless.
Wiggins’ second homerun of the game highlighted the fourth inning as the Bandits plated two more runs. Yamada led off with a single and advanced to third on an error and passed ball. Wiggins then hit her eleventh homerun of the season as the Bandits took a comfortable 7-0 lead and forced the Pride to make a pitching change as Blaire Luna entered the game.
Chicago tacked on an insurance run in the sixth as Yamada recorded her third hit of the night with a single, she then advanced to third on an error and Vicky Galindo’s single scored her as the Bandits took an 8-0 lead.
The Pride tried to rally in the seventh after Jenn Salling hit a one-out double and advanced to third on an error. She was left stranded though as Williamson picked up two huge strikeouts to end the game and give the Bandits the 8-0 victory.
Chicago needs to win just one more game in this four-game set in order to secure a spot in the Championship while the Pride need to win the next two in order to force a tie-breaker for first-place.
The Bandits and Pride play game three tomorrow, Friday, August 16 with the first pitch set for 7:35 p.m. CDT at the Ballpark at Rosemont.
To order tickets, contact the Chicago Bandits at 877-722-6348 or visit www.chicagobandits.com.
SITE: Ballpark at Rosemont
SCORE: Bandits 8, Pride 0
RECORDS: Bandits (35-11), Pride (33-13)
NEXT RACERS GAME: Friday, August 16 @ 7:35 p.m. vs. USSSA Pride
AKRON RACERS FALL TO NY/NJ COMETS 12-5; NORRIS RETURNS FROM INJURY
AKRON, OH – August 15, 2013 – Heading into the final weekend of the National Pro Fastpitch regular season, both the Akron Racers and the NY/NJ Comets rode losing streaks of six and four games, respectively. The Racers extended their skid to seven games as the Comets snapped their streak at four games when NY/NJ beat Akron 12-5 on Thursday evening.
The Racers sent rookie Ivy Renfroe to the circle to face Angel Bunner of the Comets, creating a rematch of the two teams’ July 31 game, which the Comets won. NY/NJ jumped on Renfroe early, scoring three runs right off the bat in the top of the first inning. But the Racers returned fire with one run in the bottom of the frame when Taylor Schlopy scored on Charlotte Morgan’s groundout. Schlopy would the game 3-4 with a run scored and two RBI.
Akron jumped ahead the next inning, tacking on three more runs in the bottom of the second inning on RBI hits from Schlopy and Ayumi Karino. Karino also had an impressive evening at the plate for Akron, going 2-3 with two RBI and one run scored.
But the Comets came alive in the top of the fourth inning, scoring six runs to take a 9-4 lead. Bianca Mejia and Courtney Liddle hit a three-run home apiece before the inning’s end, and Mejia’s helped chase Renfroe from the game in favor of Hillary Bach with one out in the inning. Bach came in with two runners on, but Liddle sent her third pitch over the fence for a home run. In just over three innings of work, Renfroe surrendered eight runs and seven earned runs on eight hits, walking four batters and earning her ninth loss of the season. The Comets tacked on another pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning and another in the top of the seventh to put themselves further ahead. Akron added one more run in the bottom of the sixth inning, but it was not enough to overcome the Comets’ lead.
Even with the loss, the Racers saw several flashes of light. After missing the past several weeks with a foot injury, Racers veteran ace Lisa Norris returned to the diamond to pitch a few innings in relief. Norris pitched the final two innings of the game for Akron, facing nine batters and giving up one earned run while walking one and striking out two. The Racers also continued to show their defensive prowess. Despite committing one error, Akron defenders made several solid plays. On the right side of the field, Ayumi Karino made several running catches in foul territory from her post in right field while Aja Paculba made a leaping grab of a pop fly right on the edge of the infield in the second inning. On the left side, Kelley Montalvo continued to prove her mastery of the hot corner with a few nice grabs of her own at third base.
The Racers and the Comets are scheduled to continue this final regular season series tomorrow evening, Friday August 16 at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at www.akronracers.org or by calling the ticket office at (330) 376-8188.
-Bunner pitched her ninth complete game of the season for her third win.
-Taylor Schlopy went 3-4 with 2 RBI and a run scored for the Racers.
-Dorian Shaw finished the evening 4-4 with 4 RBI.
Pride Use Late Rally to Beat the Bandits, 3-2
Rosemont, IL – August 14, 2013 – With an automatic bid into the National Pro Fastpitch Championship on the line, the Chicago Bandits and USSSA Pride started a pivotal four-game game series tonight at the Ballpark at Rosemont. The game certainly did not disappoint as the Pride used a three-run rally in the seventh inning to defeat the Bandits, 3-2.
The top two pitchers in the league, Monica Abbott (16-4, 0.92 ERA) and Cat Osterman (17-3, 1.05 ERA) took the circle for their respective teams in a week 11 showdown featuring the top two teams in the league.
The Bandits need two wins in order to secure a spot in the Championship while the Pride need to win three in order to force a tie-breaker for first-place. The Pride now sit just one game back with three games remaining in the series.
Chicago drew blood first in the second inning when Amber Patton drew a walk, stole second and was brought home off an RBI single by Vicky Galindo to give the Bandits an early 1-0 lead.
The Bandits tallied another run in the third after Megan Wiggins singled up the middle and advanced to second off a sacrifice bunt by Eri Yamada. She was brought home after Nerissa Myers ripped one down the right-field line and hustled around the bases for a triple.
Chicago took a 2-0 lead heading into the seventh inning but the Pride strung along four hits to plate three runs to take the lead, 3-2.
The late rally was started by Lauren Lappin who led off the inning with a single over the head of Bandit shortstop Tammy Williams. Megan Willis followed suit, hitting a single of her own up the middle and Ashley Charters’ bunt-single loaded the bases. Abbott struck out Natasha Watley for the first out of the inning but Caitlin Lowe delivered a single to score a pair of Pride runners and tie the ballgame. Charters then scored the winning run off Kelly Kretschman’s RBI groundout.
Osterman recorded three straight strikeouts to end the game as the Pride took game one of the series, 3-2.
Abbott recorded seven strikeouts while allowing eight hits and three runs while Osterman struck out 12 and allowed two runs off five hits.
The Bandits and Pride play game two tomorrow, Thursday, August 15 with the first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. CDT at the Ballpark at Rosemont.
SITE: Ballpark at Rosemont
SCORE: Pride 3, Bandits 2
RECORDS: Bandits (34-11), Pride (33-12)
NEXT Bandits GAME: Thursday, August 15 @ 7:05 p.m. vs. USSSA Pride