Jen Gilbert Photo Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
ROSEMONT, IL (July 1, 2016) – Despite a four-run second inning, the Bandits could not hold on in Friday night’s series opener at The Ballpark at Rosemont against the Akron Racers. The Racers used the power of three solo shots and a five-run fifth frame to march back and down the Bandits by a 10-4 score.
“We need to figure out how to cut these big innings down a little bit more,” Bandits third baseman Megan Blank said. “When you feel that momentum shifting, it becomes that much tougher to make the next play.”
Akron got on the board early with a solo home run off the bat of Alex Hugo (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI), her second of the season, both coming against the Bandits. However, the Bandits responded emphatically, scoring four times in the bottom half of the frame to erase the early deficit. A throwing error on a soft grounder to second by Danielle Zymkowitz (0-for-3, R) scored the first run of the ballgame for the Bandits. After consecutive strikeouts, Megan Blank (1-for-3, 2 RBI, R) came through with a two-out, two-RBI single up the middle to temporarily give the Bandits the lead. Tatum Edwards (1-for-4, 2B, RBI) later added to the lead with an RBI-double on a line shot that caromed off the glove of Akron third baseman Kelley Montalvo into left field.
“I think hits are starting to fall a little bit more,” Blank, who got off to a sluggish start in 2016, said. “I’m taking more quality at-bats and squaring up some more pitches and it’s starting to turn around a little bit.”
The Bandits’ lead was short-lived, however, as the Racers scored seven times in the middle innings to burst ahead 8-4. Solo home runs from Sami Fagan (2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) and Jennifer Gilbert (3-for-4, HR, HR, 2 R) brought the Racers within a run and a five-run, six-hit fifth inning gave them the lead.
Bandits’ starter Shelby Turnier (L, 2-3) suffered the loss after surrendering six earned runs in four innings. She struck out four batters, but the three solo homers did her in. Lacey Waldrop (0.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 H) and Morgan Foley (2.2 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 H)) pitched in relief. On the flip side, the Bandits knocked out Racers’ starter Jailyn Ford (ND, 2.0 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 3 K) out of the game after two innings, but reliever Laura Winter (W, 1-1) shut them down for the final five frames to earn her first victory of the season. Following their four-run second inning, the Bandits managed just three hits, two of which came trailing by six runs in their final at-bats.
With the loss, the Bandits dropped their sixth consecutive game, doubling their longest losing streak from the 2015 season. The Racers, meanwhile, evened up the season series at three games apiece with their third consecutive win.
The two teams will complete their quick two-game set tomorrow, with first pitch scheduled for 7:35 p.m. The game will be broadcast on NPFTV and 1590 WCGO.
Tickets for all remaining home games during the 2016 season are on sale now. Visit www.chicagobandits.com or call the box office at 877-722-6348 to order.
• Tonight’s attendance was 1,213, marking the seventh time in 10 home games with 1,000+ fans at The Ballpark at Rosemont this season.
• The Bandits are now 1-12 this season when scoring between 0-5 runs.
• The Bandits have now surrendered eight or more runs in five of their last six contests, losing all five of those games.
PLAY BY PLAY
About the Akron Racers:
The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, OH, are the oldest existing team in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league, celebrating their 15th Season of Play in 2016. The Racers competed in the Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL) for two seasons in 1999 and 2000 and in the NPF since 2004. Historic Firestone Stadium is home to the Racers and numerous amateur events at all levels of play.
About the Chicago Bandits:
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, Emily Allard and Tammy Williams. The three-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 2016 season will be the Bandits’ 12th season in the NPF.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF):
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series. The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.
Note to Media
Photos and b-roll of players is available. Interviews with the league commissioner are welcomed, and top players from each team are accessible immediately. If you’re interested in pursuing story angles about professional softball for women, please don’t hesitate to contact us.