ROSEMONT, Ill. – June 5, 2015 - Lacey Waldrop proved why she was deserving of the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 NPF Draft tonight. The Florida State star shined in her first career start in the circle for the Bandits, who defeated the Akron Racers 3-1 to claim the series.
Waldrop, the 2014 USA Softball National Player of the Year, tossed a complete game, one-hitter and was in control all game. She kept the Racers off-balance with a mix of off-speed pitches and a fastball that settled around 63 MPH.
“It’s something that you dream about as a little kid,” Waldrop said. “It was just really cool to be out here and have such a great team behind me making me feel comfortable in my first game.”
Akron actually jumped ahead early on a solo home run off the bat of Kailee Cuico, but that would be all the offense the Racers had all game. Cuico’s homer was the lone blemish of the game for Waldrop, who fanned nine batters and retired 15 in a row to close the game.
“(After the home run) I was thinking that wasn’t going to happen again,” Waldrop said. “I definitely changed up a little bit and made some adjustments.”
In the second inning, with the Bandits trailing 1-0, Kirsten Verdun (0-for-1, R, BB) drew a leadoff walk and later came around when a throw from the Racers third baseman Kelly Montalvo sailed into right field. Rookie outfielder Kelsi Jones (0-for-1, RBI) laid down a perfect bunt to score Amber Patton (2-for-2, RBI, R, BB), who had also moved up via the Montalvo error, giving the Bandits the lead.
The Bandits added an insurance run in the fifth inning when Tammy Williams (2-for-3, RBI) came through with an RBI-single to the left side, scoring Brenna Moss (0-for-4, R). Three runs were all Waldrop would need as she shut down the Racers in the final innings and preserved the Bandits undefeated record.
“I’m going to try to be the best for my team and get the wins as best I can to put us in a position for a championship,” Waldrop said.
The Bandits now sit at 5-0 on the season and will go for the series sweep tomorrow. First pitch for the series finale between the Bandits and Racers is set for 7:35 p.m. CT.
Tickets for all 2015 Bandits games are on sale now. For more information about the Chicago Bandits, or to purchase tickets, visit www.chicagobandits.com.
BOX SCORE LINK: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=90421
LOCATION: The Ballpark at Rosemont
FINAL SCORE: Bandits 3, Racers 1
RECORDS: Bandits (5-0) Racers (1-3)
NEXT BANDITS GAME: Saturday, June 6 at 7:35 p.m. CST vs. Akron Racers @ The Ballpark at Rosemont
* The Bandits unveiled their new mascot, Swiper, at the Ballpark tonight. Local mascots, Dibs from DePaul, Willie from Northwestern and Skates from the Chicago Wolves came out to celebrate
* Tonight’s attendance was 938
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level, and the roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May-Johnson and Tammy Williams. The two-time NPF Champions, who are owned by Bill Sokolis, play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women's professional team. The 2015 season will be the Bandits 11th season in the NPF.
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball and has been since 2002.