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USSSA Pride edge out Bandits on ESPN2 in Extras

June 11, 2011


SITE: ESPN/Disney Wide World of Sports, Orlando, Fla.
SCORES: Bandits 2, Pride 3
RECORDS: Bandits (0-2), Pride (2-0)
NEXT BANDITS GAME: Saturday, June 12 at 6:35 p.m. (part two of double header)

Orlando, Fla. -- Stepping into the circle for the first time as the ace of the Chicago Bandits, pitcher Monica Abbott prepared to work against her rival Cat Osterman. Abbott and Osterman battled back and fourth, both allowing seven hits and two runs through nine innings.

In the bottom of the tenth inning and with bases loaded, USSSA Pride left fielder Jessica Mendoza slapped a dribbler down the first baseline. Appearing to stop running, Mendoza froze Bandits first baseman Dorian Shaw just enough to allow Watley to score from third base for the game winning run for a 3-2 win in the bottom of the tenth inning.

Pitching was the overall name of the game today as Bandits second baseman Vicky Galindo stepped up to bat against her former Team USA teammate and USSSA Pride pitcher Cat Osterman in the top of the third inning. With a hit-and-run poke through the right side of the infield, Galindo sent teammate Amber Patton to third base and reach second base on her own during the play.

With two in scoring position for the Bandits, Osterman buckled down in the circle, getting her seventh strikeout to end the inning, this time against rookie Dorian Shaw.

Juarez broke through Osterman in the top of the fourth inning to get just the third hit of the game for the Bandits, reaching second base on a double down the left field line. Juarez was stranded at second base as the fourth runner stranded for Chicago.

After a Jessica Mendoza single to centerfield, Bandits ace Monica Abbott forced her out at second when Galindo flipped an up-the-middle grounder to Christine Knauer at second base. Kelly Kretschman reached first on the fielder’s choice play.

With two on and two outs, Pride coach Tim Walton substituted Tonya Callahan to face her former teammate Monica Abbott. The move worked as Callahan blooped a pinch hit two-run single to right field to give the Pride a 2-0 lead.

A high bouncing grounder up the middle by Jessica Mendoza loaded the bases for the Pride in the bottom of the fifth inning against Abbott. With one out on the board, Knauer snagged a Kretschman grounder to get the out at the plate, keeping a run from scoring. Abbott forced Charlotte Morgan to fly out to right field to strand three on base and end the inning.

Jamee Juarez put the Bandits on the board with her second hit of the game against Pride pitcher Cat Osterman, sending Alexis Jager (pinch running for Rachel Folden) home for a run. One batter later and with Juarez on third base now, Shannon Doepking blasted a double to right field, tying the game at 2-2 in the top of the sixth inning.

Abbott and Osterman dueled back and forth all the way to the bottom of the tenth.

With Christine Knauer on second base to start the 10th inning by way of the International tie breaker rule, Knauer moved to third with two outs in the top of the tenth. inning. Cat Osterman held strong in the circle, stranding Knauer at third with her 17 strikeout of the game.

The Pride would go on to win the game in the bottom of the tenth, 3-2.

Osterman finished the game with 17 strikeouts and Abbott with five.

NOTES: International tie breaker rule for extra innings was put into place in the 10th inning with Christine Knauer taking second base to start the top half as the last out for the Bandits, from the previous inning.