ELGIN, IL. - After Friday night's offensive output, the Chicago Bandits and Washington Glory settled in to a pitchers duel in the first game of a double header Saturday evening.
But for one brief moment, the Chicago Bandits played small ball to perfection, out-coaching the Washington Glory (17-9) and getting past the almost untouchable Sarah Pauly. The Bandits (12-10) scored on a game winning suicide squeeze bunt at the bottom of the seventh inning.
Chicago's head coach Micky Dean decided to enter Samantha Findlay in the seventh inning to pinch hit for Mindy Cowles. Findlay walked and Cowles reentered as a pinch runner. Cowles stole second and Laura Harms laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Cowles to third. Aileen Morales came up with two outs and laid down a perfectly executed bunt right in front of home plate. Cowles took off from third and eluded the tag at home giving the Bandits a 2-1 win at the Judson Sports Complex.
"Sam had a great at bat," Cowles said. "I just had to stay smart, it was a big situation. It was a squeeze and I had a good jump. I knew there was no room for error and I was busting my butt."
Sarah Pauly (8-2) was otherwise on fire, pitching a complete game and giving up three hits and striking out five.
As great as Pauly pitched, Thorson was equally as successful. In seven innings, Thorson (3-5) gave up five hits, one run and struck out four.
"It was normal, I was back to my old self, consistent and aggressive," Thorson said. "I was used to [playing in low scoring games] since college. I knew the team would come around, whether it as in the seventh, eighth, third, whatever inning."
Amanda Freed started the scoring for the Bandits with her first home run of the season, a smash to left field that banged off the scoreboard, giving Chicago a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
The Glory's offense came in the third inning. Amber Jackson knotted the score at 1-all with a double that brought home Cambria Miranda-who was pinch running for Sarah Larquier after Larquier led off the inning with a single.
Thorson got into trouble in the top of the seventh inning. Jessica Moore-pinch hitting for Catalina Morris- was hit in the hand by a Thorson pitch and Larquier walked. With two outs Callie Piper hit a hard smash back to Thorson that hit off her mitt. Stacy May fielded the ball and threw to first to end the inning.
"[Beating Washington twice] is huge," Thorson said. "Last week [in the previous series at Washington] we had games where if we had one play here or one hit there, we would have won. Now we are winning those games.
The Chicago Bandits and Washington Glory will wrap up their series Sunday with game four at 3:05 at the Judson Sports Complex in Elgin.