AKRON, OH (July 29, 2016) – The Chicago Bandits entered Firestone Stadium Friday night and quickly got their offense firing on all cylinders, bashing their way to a 17-4 win over the Akron Racers in the series finale.
After scoring two runs, thanks in large part to two walks and two hit batters in the first inning, the Bandits (19-21) came into the top of the second inning in full force, putting six runs on the board. After Chicago center fielder earned a walk to lead off the inning and shortstop Jill Barrett smacked a single to left field, first baseman Brittany Cervantes hit a three-run home run to left field to put the Bandits ahead 5-1.
Right fielder Amanda Kamekona followed in Cervantes’ footsteps by blasting a solo shot to left-center field. Chicago wasn’t done with the long ball, as two batters later third baseman Megan Blank blasted a two-run home run that plated left fielder Danielle Zymkowitz to put the visitors ahead 8-1.
The Bandits added two runs in the top of the fourth inning to go ahead 10-1 after a single by Kamekona brought home Cervantes after an error by Akron (20-20) right fielder Cassie Tysarczyk on the play. Kamekona, who raced all the way to third base on the error, scored on an RBI base hit by catcher Kellsi Kloss later in the inning.
The Racers came right back in the bottom of the fourth inning as center fielder Taylor Schlopy (Georgia) hit a double to left center field that drove in Shellie Robinson (South Carolina-Upstate) and Sam Fischer (Loyola-Marymount). Fischer and Robinson had both led off the inning with singles to set the stage for Schlopy.
In the top of the fifth inning, Zymkowitz highlighted a three-run inning for Chicago with a two-run single with the bases loaded.
In the top of the sixth inning, back-to-back RBI hits by pinch hitters Kelsey Dotson and Natalie Hernandez put the Bandits ahead 15-3.
Pinch hitter Jennifer Gilbert (Ball State) led off for the Racers in the bottom of the sixth inning and hit a solo home run to center field, bringing the score to 15-4.
Chicago closed the scoring in the top of the seventh inning with a sacrifice fly by Kristen Brown that scored Emily Carosone and Kloss scoring on a passed ball.
Barrett, Edwards, Cervantes, Kamekona and Carosone each picked up two hits to guide the Bandits’ offensive effort.
Robinson went 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI. Robinson opened the scoring for the Racers in the bottom of the first inning with a double that brought home second baseman Ashley Thomas (Georgia Tech), who picked up Akron’s first hit of the game with her own double.
The Racers travel to Texas for a six-game road trip, with the first three games against the Dallas Charge beginning Sunday, July 31. Akron will then take on the Scrap Yard Dawgs beginning Thursday, August 4 in a three-game series. The Racers return home Monday, August 8, and Tuesday, August 9, for a pair of home games against the USSSA Pride that will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
PLAY BY 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 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 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.