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Late inning heroics clinch opener for Thunder

ROCKFORD - Cassidy Scoggins (1-0) pitched a complete game three-hitter and gave up just one run in seven innings to help guide the Thunder to a game one victory over the rival Chicago Bandits. Catcher Savannah Brown drove in Jessica Williams in from second base in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.

Despite steady rain throughout the game, the teams started on time, and watched the Thunder's inactive Olympian pitcher Cat Osterman throw out the ceremonial first pitch in front of 581 fans at Rockford's SportsCore stadium. Notably absent from Chicago's lineup was Jennie Finch, another US National Team pitcher.

The Bandits led off the scoring in the second inning, when left fielder Laura Harms drove in Jaime Clark with a single. Scoggins settled down and only let three Bandits on base in the remaining five innings.

Rockford started out sluggishly, going 0-for-13 to start the game before second baseman Lindsay Gardner homered in the fifth inning to knot the game at one. First baseman Tonya Callahan walked to lead off the bottom of the seventh. When Williams came in to pinch run, Stephanie Fischer bunted successfully to put a runner in scoring position. That set the table for Brown to hit the game-winning run in. Kristina Thorson (0-1) picked up the loss despite only giving up three hits in six and a third innings.

Rockford (1-0) and Chicago (0-1) will square off again Friday night at 6:35 pm at SportsCore. Tickets start at just $5, and can be purchased beginning at 5:00 at the Thunder box office.