Photo credit: Nick Monaghan, courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
ROSEMONT — The Chicago Bandits managed a split in Saturday afternoon’s doubleheader against the Aussie Spirit but dropped the three-game series with a loss in Game 2.
Former Bandits southpaw Kaia Parnaby, now a member of the Spirit in their inaugural season as an NPF franchise, delivered a impressive performance in the circle in a 3-0 win in the back half of the twin bill. Parnaby, who earned her second victory in as many starts, scattered four hits and didn’t allow a run across six innings of work. She struck out six before turning the game over to veteran right-hander Jordan Taylor,
Taylor collected her second save after a shutdown seventh frame to clinch the series for the Spirit.
Bandits right-hander Rachele Fico matched Parnaby pitch-for-pitch through the fourth but ran into trouble in the fifth after three defensive miscues allowed a trio of runs (one earned) to cross the plate.
Fico (L, 3-2) suffered her second loss of the campaign.
Bandits southpaw Paige Lowary pitched the final two innings and allowed just one baserunner while fanning two batters.
However, the loss in Game 2 did not overshadow a strong effort in the first game of the afternoon as the Bandits used a nine-hit attack to power past their international opponents, 5-2.
Veteran catcher Kristyn Sandberg sparked the offense and shot an RBI double to the right-center gap to plate the game’s first run. Rookie shortstop DJ Sanders, whom the Bandits selected 21st overall in the fourth round of the 2018 NPF Draft, launched her first career home run in the second inning to extend the lead to 2-0.
Jessie Scroggins, later named the Vaultz Lock It Up! Player of the Game, continued her stellar start as a professional and delivered a 3-for-3 day at the plate to pace the Bandits. The former Baylor standout also scored a pair of runs and stole two bases.
A combined effort in the circle between right-hander Shelby Turnier and Lowary helped stifle the Spirit bats in Game 1 as the duo did not allow a run in six innings. A two-run homer against Aleshia Ocasio off the bat of Spirit third baseman designated player Stacey Porter represented the lone Aussie runs.
Turnier picked up her second victory of the season. Lowary earned her second save.
The Bandits will be back in action at 5 p.m. Sunday as they begin a six-game stretch against the Beijing Shougang Eagles at Parkway Bank Sports Complex. The game will be broadcast via NPFTV.
For more information about the Chicago Bandits or to purchase tickets to any home game during the remainder of the 2018 season, please visit chicagobandits.com or call the box office at 877-722-6348.
— Attendances: Game 1 (665), Game 2 (689)
— Vaultz Lock It Up! Player of the Game (Game 1): Jessie Scroggins (3-for-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 SB)
— Vaultz Lock It Up! Player of the Game (Game 2): Kaia Parnaby (W, 6.0 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K)
— Records: Spirit (13-26), Bandits (20-7)
ABOUT CHICAGO BANDITS
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch league. Entering their 14th season as a franchise, the Bandits have provided the Chicago area with high-level softball talent and entertainment en route to capturing six regular season titles and four Cowles Cup championships, the most recent coming during the 2016 campaign. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits play at Parkway Bank Sports Complex, one of the premier softball facilities in the nation. Parkway Bank Sports Complex is the only stadium in the country built exclusively for a women’s professional softball team. The Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch softball players to further their careers at the professional level and has included legendary figures such as Jennie Finch, Tammy Williams and Stacy May-Johnson.