ROSEMONT, Ill. – July 28, 2015 - The Bandits offense continued to struggle against Cat Osterman (W, 12-2) as the USSSA Pride earned a 5-2 victory at The Ballpark at Rosemont to clinch a series split. For the fourth consecutive game, the Bandits failed to score more than three runs after exploding for ten against the Dallas Charge last Thursday. Bandits right fielder Brittany Cervantes said the team’s approach needs to remain stay the same.
“Hitting is contagious,” Cervantes said. “We just need that one hit, especially in crucial times with runners in scoring position and the rest will follow in place.”
Cervantes reiterated that the confidence level in the dugout has not fallen, despite the recent struggles at the plate.
“I don’t think our confidence has changed at all,” Cervantes said. “We all know Cat (Osterman) is one of the best pitchers out there, so if we can at least work the count, make solid contact and do little things like that, it’ll matter in the end.”
Osterman delivered a complete game, five-hitter for the Pride to move her mark against the Bandits this season to 4-1. The veteran southpaw put up zeros until the fifth when Danielle Zymkowitz raced home to score on a throwing error by Pride catcher Megan Willis.
“(Osterman) just came out like she always does,” Cervantes said. “She’s a competitor. We know what pitches she has and she was able to work those pitches tonight and called a good game.”
After two scoreless frames to open the game, the Pride staked Osterman out to a three-run lead in the third. Bandits starter Michelle Gascoigne was able to maneuver around a leadoff double in the second, but couldn’t do so in consecutive innings as the Pride’s Shelby Pendley (1-for-3, 2B, R) led the frame off with a double to left-center and came around to score the game’s first run on a line drive single through the right side by Natasha Watley (1-for-3, RBI). Andrea Duran (3-for-4, 3 2B, 3 RBI) doubled home two runs later in the inning to make it 3-0 Pride.
Gascoigne, making her third start against the Pride, allowed just those three runs, but that was enough support for Osterman, who surrendered only one earned run in the game. Gascoigne was handed the loss and fell to 4-4 on the season, including a 0-3 mark against the Pride.
The Pride tacked on two more insurance runs in the seventh to increase their lead to 5-1, but the Bandits were able to make things interesting in their final at-bats. A towering solo shot to straightaway center by Vicky Galasso (1-for-2, HR, RBI) cut the deficit to three and a pinch-hit single by Natalie Hernandez (1-for-1) brought the potential tying run to the on-deck circle. However, Osterman was able to get Tammy Williams (0-for-3) to ground into a fielder’s choice to close it out.
The Bandits and Pride will continue to battle for the top spot in the NPF with a quick two-game set at East Side Centre in Peoria, beginning tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. The Pride currently hold a 1.5 game edge in the standings, but the two teams are even in the loss column.
For more information or to purchase tickets for any remaining Bandits home game during the 2015 NPF season, please visit www.chicagobandits.com or call the box office at 877-722-6348.
BOX SCORE LINK: http://ow.ly/QeFUC
LOCATION: The Ballpark at Rosemont
SCORE: Pride 5, Bandits 2
RECORDS: Pride (29-12), Bandits (25-12)
NEXT BANDITS GAME: Wednesday, July 29 @ USSSA Pride at 7:00 p.m. at EastSide Centre in Peoria, Ill.
* Tonight’s announced attendance was 1,375
* The Bandits finished with a 3-3 record against the Pride at home this season
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.