Kiki Stokes Photo by Dina Kwit Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
ROSEMONT, IL (July 13, 2016) – The Chicago Bandits jumped out to a 5-0 lead through two innings, but could not hold on as the Scrap Yard Dawgs scored nine unanswered runs to claim the series opener.
Dawgs’ first baseman Lexi Overstreet took relief pitcher Morgan Foley (L, 1-3) deep with a home run over the left-center field fence to give the Dawgs (17-12) their first lead of the ballgame in the top of the sixth.
Dawgs’ ace Monica Abbott (S, 1) entered the game with two outs and two runners on for the Bandits in the sixth and was able to catch second baseman Danielle Zymkowitz looking to end the inning.
“It’s always going to be weird because [Abbott’s] part of the family,” first baseman Brittany Cervantes said about her former teammate. “When people are saying that she throws fast, they weren’t kidding.”
Ellen Renfroe-Reed (W, 2-1) picked up the win after entering the game in the fourth and tossing two innings, allowing no runs on five hits while striking out two and walking one.
“Their pitching staff adjusted [after the second inning] and I think we need to do a better job of adjusting faster than they do,” Cervantes said. “We’ll come out tomorrow more aggressive and it will be a completely different game.”
Rain and lightning pushed the 7:05 start time to 8:45 p.m., but Bandits’ starting pitcher Angel Bunner worked around an early threat for the Dawgs, who left two runners stranded in the first inning.
The Bandits (12-17) offense then supplied her with a two-run cushion to work with as Cervantes (4-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 2B, R) and Zymkowitz (1-for-3, RBI) drove in runs with a double and single, respectively. The Zymkowitz single extended her hit streak to a team-high seven games.
Cervantes was back at it in the second, adding her second RBI double in as many innings. Shortstop Jill Barrett (4-for-4, R, RBI) and centerfielder Sammy Marshall (1-for-4, RBI, 2 R) also added RBI in an inning that saw the Bandits extend their lead to 5-0 with three runs on four hits.
“We came out pretty well for those first two innings, but Scrap Yard came back and they were a little more mentally tough about it than we were,” Cervantes said.
The Dawgs got a run back in the third when right fielder Emilee Koerner (1-for-3, RBI) drove in left fielder Kiki Stokes (3-for-4, RBI, 2B, R) with an RBI-single. It was Koerner’s 13th RBI in seven games against the Bandits this season.
The Bandits’ dominant offense in the first two innings, five runs on seven hits, drove Dawgs’ starter Ivy Renfroe from the pitcher’s circle in favor of Ellen Renfroe-Reed. Renfroe finished with one strikeout in 13 batters faced.
Renfroe-Reed was able to stall the Bandits’ offense as the Dawgs mounted a comeback.
The Dawgs clawed back two more runs in the fourth thanks to a leadoff, no-doubt home run from catcher Taylore Fuller (1-for-3, 2 R, RBI, BB) and an RBI-double from K. Stokes. The double chased Bunner from the game, she finished with six strikeouts and two walks while allowing four runs on seven hits – including two home runs – in four innings pitched.
The Bandits tried to add more insurance for Lacey Waldrop – who replaced Bunner – in the fourth, but stranded runners at second and third.
The Bandits lead evaporated in the fifth inning, as the Dawgs tallied their second-straight two-run inning. Third baseman Amanda Fama (2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR) sent a two-RBI home run to center, right where the wind was blowing. The home run came off of Bunner, who re-entered the game in the fifth.
The Dawgs tacked on insurance runs for Abbott in the seventh thanks to a three-run home run from pinch hitter Meagan May Whitley (1-for-1, 3 RBI, HR, R) off Michelle Gascoigne.
“We [have] to come back more aggressive and we’re just going to have a different mindset,” Cervantes said. “They aren’t going to die down when we go up and we’re not going to go down when they go up, so it’s going to be more of a battle.”
The Bandits and Dawgs will finish the two-game set on Thursday night at The Ballpark at Rosemont. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and the game will be carried live on NPFTV.com and 1590 WCGO.
Tickets for Thursday night’s game and 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.
Gosling's Rum Recap Notes:
* Despite the rain delay, the Bandits had a crowd of 1,130 on hand. They now average an attendance of 1,128 in 17 games at The Ballpark at Rosemont this season.
• First pitch tonight was 8:45, marking the second, and longest home rain delay at home this season.
• Taylor Edwards’ six-game hit streak came to an end tonight and now the team is 0-6 when she goes hitless.
• Emilee Koerner is now 6-for-16 with two home runs, 13 RBI, five runs and seven walks against the Bandits in seven games this season.
• Bandits are now 7-2 when leading after the first inning.
• The Bandits are now 3-1 against the Dawgs this season at home.
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About the Scrap Yard Dawgs:
The Scrap Yard Dawgs will begin competition in the National Pro Fastpitch league in 2016. The Dawgs will provide elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and inspire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Houston area, the Dawgs organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and professionalism. Follow the Dawgs at www.scrapyarddawgs.com or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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.
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