Kelly Kretschman Photo by Dina Kwit Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
Rosemont, IL (August 4, 2016) – Kelly Kretschman drove in five runs as the Bandits fell to the league-leading USSSA Pride in game two of a three-game series Thursday night at The Ballpark at Rosemont. The veteran outfielder, who leads the NPF in numerous offensive categories, helped propel the Pride to a 6-3 win and force a rubber match tomorrow night.
USSSA (33-12) got on the board early as Kretschman lashed an RBI-double to left-center, plating the game’s opening run in Megan Wiggins. The lead quickly doubled in the following inning when Kelsey Stewart (1-for-4, 2B, RBI) picked up an RBI-double of her own. Sara Moulton (L, 5-4) was tagged for both runs and ultimately suffered the loss.
Pride starter Jolene Henderson (W, 9-3) shut the Bandits down in the first two frames, allowing the Pride to jump out to the early advantage. Henderson delivered five strong innings for the Pride, allowing just one earned run on two hits. She kept the Bandits (21-23) off-balance throughout her performance, striking out three. Her effort, along with a 13-hit attack at the plate, was enough to give the Pride the win.
“We need to do a better job on both sides - offense and defense,” Amanda Kamekona said. “You can’t win a game being out-hit 13-3.”
Despite the gap in hits, the Bandits did not go quietly. Kellsi Kloss (0-for-0, HBP, R) came across to score when a throw on a Jill Barrett (0-for-2, SH, SB) stolen base attempt sailed into center. At the time, it cut the deficit to just one run, but the Pride scored four of the next six to seal the win.
The Pride responded in the fourth when Courtney Ceo (1-for-3, R) and Haylie McCleney (2-for-5, 2 R) both singled, bringing up Kretschman (3-for-3, HR, 2 2B, 5 RBI), who doubled off the fence in left to bring them both home.
Kretschman later sent a two-run home run into the party deck in left to cap off a three-hit effort.
The Bandits got within striking distance late in the ballgame thanks to an RBI-groundout from pinch-hitter Natalie Hernandez (0-for-2, RBI) and a towering solo shot to left from Brittany Cervantes (1-for-3, HR, RBI). It was Cervantes’ seventh home run of the season, ranking second on the team behind Taylor Edwards’ nine.
Amanda Kamekona (1-for-3), who signed with the Bandits following her release from the Pride on July 25, said the team needs to re-focus ahead of tomorrow night’s series finale.
“Tomorrow’s a clean slate,” Kamekona said. “The other team is just another jersey in the dugout as long as we play our game.”
First pitch in game three of the series, the last regular season meeting between the Bandits and Pride in 2016, is set for 7:35 p.m. CST. It will be Fan Appreciation Night at The Ballpark at Rosemont, which has hosted a crowd of 1,000 or more fans a total of 20 times this season. Standing-room only tickets are still available.
Gosling’s Rum Recap Notes:
• For the 20th time in 24 home games this season, the Bandits played in front of a home crowd of 1,000 or more. The team is 11-9 in those games and 1-3 when less than 1,000 are in attendance. Tonight's attendance was 1,169. The team has only played in front of a crowd of 1,000 or more in one of 20 away games this year.
• Amanda Kamekona extended her hit streak to a team-high five games. It is also her longest of the 2016 season.
• The Bandits are now 3-18 when trailing after four innings and 7-19 when the opponent scores first.
• The Bandits have never finished with a single-season record below .500 at The Ballpark at Rosemont. They are now 12-12 at home this season with one home contest remaining.
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About USSSA Florida Pride:
The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
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 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.