After the Bandits outscored their opponents 8-4 in the first two games of the homestand against the Arizona Heat, they were back again tonight to try and pick up their thirteenth straight win. Taking the circle for the night was Jessica Sallinger, who is 4-1 on the season, with two saves. After throwing six innings, with Peaches James coming in for one inning in the third, Sallinger struck out five, while only giving up six hits, earning her the win and keeping the teams win streak alive. With the Bandits win tonight, they also increased their overall record to 19-3.
The Bandits jumped on the board early with the help of Stacy Mays single to left field to get the squad started. As Jamie Clark stepped to the plate with May at first, she hammered her fourth homerun of the season off of Arizona Heat pitcher, Desiree Serrano, with a shot over the 225-foot centerfield fence. This gave the Bandits the quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
The scoring by the Bandits would continue again in the bottom of the second as Amanda Williams singled to right center. She would advance on her own by stealing second base. Shortly after, Williams was moved to third by a sacrifice bunt to the left side by Mackenzie Vandergeest. Next up for the Bandits, recording her first hit of the season, was Krista Jessup, down the leftfield line, to score Williams from third. Jessup would then advance to third on a bunt to the left side by Laura Harms. With May up to the plate, there was a past ball by Heat catcher, Heather Scaglione, allowing Jessup to sneak in at home. The Bandits would pick up two in the inning, giving them the 4-0 lead as they left the second inning.
At the start of the third, Peaches James came into pitch for the Bandits. The Heat jumped on the Bandits pitching change as James walked the first batter, putting Autumn Champion on first. It was not long until Champion moved to second with a stolen base. Crystal Farley would help move Champion along to third with a sacrifice bunt to the left side. The damage of the inning came when the Heat belted back-to-back doubles by Kaleo Eldredge and Catalina Morris, scoring Champion from third, and then Eldredge from second. Next up, was Scaglione, who ripped a ball off the glove of May at third, bouncing into foul territory, allowing Morris to safely score at home. This would bring the Heats run total to three, narrowing the Bandits lead to only 4-3.
The Heat would answer back again in the top of the fourth as Sallinger returned to the circle, with a single to left center by LaDonia Hughes to start off the Heats offense. Runners would then be brought to first and second as Champion lined a ball back up the middle at Sallinger, who was unable to make the out in time. Eldredge would then bring Hughes into score from second on a single to centerfield, tying the game at 4-4. Her second RBI of the night would put runners on second and third for the Heat. With two outs, Morris roped a ball to deep leftfield, but Vandergeest was able to come up with an amazing over the shoulder catch to retire the Heat.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Bandits broke the tie as Laura Harms got the squad their first base runner of the inning with a single to shallow center, followed by a past ball on Scaglione, allowing Harms to stroll into second. She did not stop at second though as she pushed onto third with a stolen base. With Harms now at third, the Bandits would load the bases with back-to-back walks by Steffan and Clark. The squad would take the lead as the second ball of the inning got past Scaglione, allowing Harms to sneak in at home, giving the Bandits the 5-4 lead.
The Bandits will return tomorrow afternoon for the fourth and final game of the homestand against the Arizona Heat at 3:05 p.m.
Kristin Madoch Chicago Bandits P.R.