Photo credit: Dina Kwit, courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
ROSEMONT — Plenty of early offense backed Rachele Fico’s strong start as the Chicago Bandits cruised to a 12-0 victory against the Cleveland Comets on Friday night at Parkway Bank Sports Complex.
Fico, who surrendered just one hit, a bunt single, collected her fifth win of the season after the right-hander tossed the first four innings. She struck out five and lowered her ERA to a team-best 0.68. The former Akron Racers standout faced one batter over the minimum.
Brenna Moss ignited a three-run first frame to provide a comfortable cushion for Fico. The veteran left fielder drew a walk to lead off the game, advanced to third after a wild pitch and stolen base and came across to score the game’s first run via an RBI single from Jessie Scroggins.
The Bandits plated runs in each of the first five innings, including four RBI from veteran catcher Kristyn Sandberg and three RBI off the bat of fourth-year center fielder Sammy Marshall.
Sandberg’s two-run homer in the fourth, which extended the Bandits lead to 8-0 at the time, marked her seventh of the 2018 campaign. She trails league-leader and Bandits second baseman Emily Carosone by three entering the final three weeks of the regular season.
Marshall later raced around the basepaths for an inside-the-park home run in the fifth, which represented her career-high fifth of the season.
Abby Ramirez (3-for-3), Courtney Gano (2-for-3) and Natalie Hernandez (2-for-2) also added multi-hit efforts for the Bandits, who claimed their seventh consecutive victory.
Rookie right-hander Devin Brown suffered the loss for the Comets and fell to 3-11.
Lacey Waldrop earned her second save of the season after the right-hander delivered three shutout innings in relief while striking out three.
The Bandits and Comets will conclude their two-game set at 7:35 p.m. Saturday 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, including the NPF Championship Series, please visit chicagobandits.com or call the box office at 877-722-6348.
— Records: Comets (10-25), Bandits (27-7)
— Attendance: 1,060
— Vaultz Lock It Up! Player of the Game: Kristyn Sandberg (2-for-2, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R)
— The Bandits picked up their fifth straight win against the Cleveland Comets.
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 have included legendary figures such as Jennie Finch, Tammy Williams and Stacy May-Johnson.