With the excitement from Selena Collins walk-off home run in the days first game still fresh in the minds of the Bandit fans, the home team did not wait long to build on the energy. Paced by Jennie Finch's three-run homer in the second and Anne Steffan's impressive day at the plate, the Chicago Bandits took the fourth game of the series from the Australian National Team, 6-4.
After a lead off double by Kerry Wyborn turned into a 1-0 Australian lead after their first at-bat, Bandits Anne Steffan and Jaime Clark drew walks to put two on for Jennie Finch in the home half of the inning.
After earning the teams first home run on Friday night, the former Arizona star became the first Bandit with two round-trippers. Finch crushed a shot to deep left field to clear the bases and give Chicago a 3-1 lead.
The heavy offensive output continued for the Bandits in the second inning. After batting all nine in the first, center fielder Megan Ciolli led off the bottom of the second frame with a single, followed by Anne Steffan who slapped a base hit over the third basemans head. Jaime Clark followed with a walk to load the bases.
Finch struck out and Gina Oaks popped out foul to the third baseman, but Christina Enea walked to force in Ciolli. The Bandits could not bring any more across the plate in the second.
After flying out to the warning track in the first, Haley Viefhaus was robbed again in the third inning, when Wyborn made a shoestring catch in center.
In the bottom of the fourth, right fielder Steffan led off with a walk and promptly stole second. After Clark struck out, Finch drew a walk to put two on and one down with Oaks at the dish.
Oaks hit a hard line drive right out to Stacey Porter. The Australian third baseman seemed surprised to catch the ball, as both Steffan and Finch had wandered considerably away from their respective bases, but Porter held on to the ball, instead of attempting to record the double play. Christina Enea struck out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth Selena Collins continued her impressive afternoon by recording a stand-up double to the wall in centerfield. Kate Varde came in to pinch run and made the move work when Viefhaus singled up the middle and Varde slide around the tag at the plate. Viefhuas advanced to second on the throw home.
Ciolli came up to bat next and knocked the first pitch up the middle. Aussie pitcher Cathrine Bishop deflected the ball into right field, allowing Viefhaus to score from second.
Steffan came up next and bunted her way on base to put two runners on. After Clark struck out, Ciolli tried to advance to third on a ball in the dirt, but was thrown out by Natalie Titcume to end the fifth. In the inning, the home team had put two runs on the board.
In the top of the sixth, the Australians used solid execution and some Bandit miscues to pull back into the game. Porter reached to lead off the inning after an error on Clark at short. After two subsequent outs, Amanda Doman reached on a bunt single and moved Porter from second to third. Kym Tollenaere reached on an error off the glove of Haley Viefhaus allowing both Porter and Doman to score on the play moving the score to 6-3 in favor of the Bandits.
In the top of the seventh, Porter recorded her third home run of the series, by launching a shot deep over the right center fence. Titcume followed with a single just past the outstretched glove of Clark, to bring the tying run to the plate in the person of Danica Howlett.
Despite the efforts made, the Aussies could not get any closer, falling to the Bandits for the third time in the four game series, 6-4. The Chicago Bandits will look to capitalize on their 3-1 inaugural series when play starts on Thursday against the Venezuelan National Team. Call 1-877-7BANDITS or Ticketmaster for all Chicago Bandits ticket needs.
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