ELGIN, IL - It's always nice to start a game with a 1-0 lead.
That was the situation the Chicago Bandits (11-10) were in, finishing its game against the Washington Glory (17-8) Friday night with the game beginning in the bottom of the first inning and Chicago holding a 1-0 lead. It was a continuation of Thursday's game that was postponed due to weather.
The Bandits recorded nine hits and defeated the Washington Glory 8-4 at the Judson Sports Complex in National Pro Fastpitch action.
"We were just a little more aggressive, we hit the ball pretty decent," Bandits head coach Micky Dean said. "In our last game against Washington [a 2-1 loss] we only had two hits, but I felt it we had some of our best at bats of the series and it carried over today."
The Bandits scored four runs in the second inning to take a 5-0 lead and control of the game. Kristie Fox led off the inning with a single and Mindy Cowles walked. Ashley Carlson came to pinch run for Fox, but was thrown out at third base when she interfered with Washington's third baseman on a foul ball hit down the left line. Cowles scored the inning's first run on a wild pitch by Desiree Serrano. The Bandits continued to reach base without needing hits. Aileen Morales was hit by a pitch, Stacy May walked and Amanda Freed was also hit. Rachel Folden made the Glory pay with a single that drove in Morales and May. Jaime Clark came up to hit another single that scored Freed. Folden was the Bandits final out, trying to score off of Clark's hit.
In Washington's final at-bat, the Glory refused to go down easy. Catalina Morris reached first base on an error and Callista Balko popped out to Sallinger. Jackson walked and Sara Larquier hit a three run blast to close the game to 8-4. At that point, Tracie Adix came in to relieve Sallinger.
In 6.1 inning, Sallinger gave up four hits, four earned runs, while walking two and striking out four.
"It felt good, it's nice starting the game with a 1-0 lead," Sallinger said. "We were analyzing how we were hadn't been hitting, and now we'll get those hits at home."
Cambria Miranda grounded out for the second out and Barber walked before LaDonia Hughes grounded out to end the game.
Cowles gave the Bandits a 7-0 lead with her first career home run-a two-run blast-in the fifth inning, scoring Kristie Fox.
"[The home run] felt good, it was middle outside," Cowles said. "We've seen all their pitchers now and the rest of the series will be a hitters duel, Jessica played great."
Jessica Sallinger set down Washington's first six batters before hitting Amber Jackson. But Folden picked off Jackson when she tried to steal second base. Sallinger's first hit came off a Nicole Barber single in the fourth inning.
LaDonia Hughes ended Sallinger's shutout with a solo home run to the center field bleachers in the sixth inning but the Bandits answered back when Emily Nichols singled to score May and give Chicago a 8-1 lead after six innings.
The Bandits began the scoring in their half of the first inning. Stacy May had a lead off single and advanced to second on an Amanda Freed sacrifice bunt. Rachel Folden reached base on an error by Washington's shortstop, which sent May to third. May scored when Jamie Clark hit a sacrifice fly to right field. At that point the game was suspended due to weather and began again on Friday, July 11 at 7:05 p.m.
Twenty three hours later, the first inning ended when Folden was thrown out at home.
Notes: Jackson injured her right ankle in the fourth inning when she tried to pick off Harms and Freed and left the game
The Chicago Bandits and Washington Glory will return to the Judson Sports Complex for a double header Saturday with the first game at 5:00 p.m. and the next game following immediately. The series will wrap up Sunday at 3:05 p.m.