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Bandits Win for Stadium Opener

PHOTO BY DINA KWIT (CAITLIN LEVER)

After a pitching duel from Abbott and Lawrie, Lever’s game-winner in the 7th push the Bandits past Pride 1-0

June 16, 2011

SITE: Rosemont Stadium
SCORES: 1-0
RECORDS: Bandits (2-2), Pride (2-2)
NEXT BANDITS GAME: Friday, June 17 @ 7:35 p.m. vs USSSA Pride

Rosemont, Ill. -- Battling against their longtime rival, the USSA Pride, the Chicago Bandits provided a dramatic victory in front of a packed house at Rosemont Stadium.

With pitchers Monica Abbott and Danielle Lawrie taking the circle for their respective team, it was a tough matchup for both offenses. Both pitchers showed outstanding stuff and continually left hitters confused all night.

Starting off the game, both pitchers’ performance were top-notch. Abbott retired the first three Pride batters in order including two strikeouts, while Lawrie matched her ending the inning with three consecutive ground-outs.

Following an unevenful first inning, things heated up featuring a fantastic play from second baseman Vicky Galindo to keep the score even.

After an error by Abbott, Mel Roth hit a rocket sending the ball into the center-field gap. Following a great relay throw, Galindo threw out Kelly Kretschman at home plate leaving the crowd in awe.

Entering the third inning, Abbott and Lawrie continued their dominance. Abbott took care of the Pride’s bottom half of the batting order. Despite a double from Dorian Shaw, Lawrie prevented a run from scoring by forcing Amber Patton to ground out.

In the fourth inning, Abbott left Pride batters unbalanced with strikeouts against Mendoza and Findlay and brought her total to 5. Lawrie matched by handling the middle of the Bandits order as they headed into the fifth inning.

Retiring each batter in order, Abbott and Lawrie both struck out two batters in the fifth inning, setting up a classic duel fans at Rosemont Stadium would never forget.  

Taking care of business in the sixth inning, both pitchers were still in great condition as Abbott got her fellow hurler to pop-out and forced shortstop Natasha Watley to ground out to end the top of the inning. Lawrie struck out Patton to end the Bandits’ turn as they entered the decisive inning.

But despite their earlier troubles, the Bandits would save their best in the 7th. After Abbott struck the side out, the top of the order came to bat and looked to make a change.

Megan Wiggins started off with a leadoff base hit to center-field and left the Bandits with their second base-runner all game. With a sac bunt by Folden and a groundout by Juarez, it left Wiggins on third with pinch hitter Caitlin Lever up-to bat.

With the crowd buzzing, Lever scorched a 1-0 pitch into shallow right field scoring the first run of the game and an unforgettable opener for Rosemont Stadium.

Notes:
Robin Thompson was not attendance as she was graduating from Northwestern University.

The victory was the first for Monica Abbott as a Chicago Bandit, as well as the first regular season victory at Rosemont Stadium and the first walk-off victory at Rosemont Stadium.

Attendance for the game was a Rosemont Stadium record 1,360.

Stats:
Monica Abbott (CHI): 7IP, 1H, 0R, 10K, 0BB
Danielle Lawrie (USSSA): 6.2IP, 3H, 1R, 8K, 0BB
Dorian Shaw (CHI): 1-2, 2B
Megan Wiggins (CHI): 1-2, 1B, R
Caitlin Lever (CHI): 1-1, 1B, RBI
Melissa Roth (USSSA): 1-2, 2B