LISLE, Ill. - The Comcast Chicago Bandits run toward the 2007 National Professional Fastpitch playoff spot finally came to an end Friday as the Rockford Thunder scored a 7-1 victory that mathematically eliminated the Bandits. The Bandits will wrap up the 2007 season with fan appreciation night.
After being shutout the last two nights by the Bandits, the Thunder wasted no time in scoring their first run of the series tonight. Kristen Zaleski led off with a solo homerun to left center on the second pitch of the ballgame.
The Thunder would add four runs in the third inning and single runs in the fifth and sixth innings on its way to the win. The Thunder offense racked up six hits, led by Mackenzie Vandergeest, who was 2-4 with three RBI. Teammate Lindsay Gardner also had two runs batted in and Kristin Zaleski went 2-3 with three runs scored.
The Bandits managed just three hits, all of which came after starter Cat Osterman (4-5) left the game after four innings. Osterman had seven strikeouts and two walks and did not allow a hit. Serena Settlemier pitched the final three innings and gave up all three Bandit hits.
Lindsay Schutzler and Stacy May each had singles while Caitlin Lever hit her second double of the season to account for Chicagos offense.
Bandit starter Gina Oaks (4-5) lasted just 2 1/3 innings and gave up four hits. Oaks was charged with five runs, four of which were earned as the first of eventual three Bandit pitchers of the game.
The Bandits came up a little short this year on their quest for a 2007 National Professional Fastpitch Championship, so all 2007 season ticket holders will reap the benefits. Bandits owner Bill Conroy will make good on his preseason promise, meaning all 2007 season ticket holders will receive their 2008 season tickets for free.
Bill Conroy stated, Its my responsibility to field a championship caliber team. While we would obviously have liked a better overall record and to have made the playoffs, this team overcame a lot of adversity and showed glimpses of good things. I believe we have many great things to build on and its my commitment to add whatever is necessary to make us a championship caliber team in 2008."