HUTCHINSON, Kan. (6/6/18)— After a shaky start to their first road trip of the season, the Bandits surged to a 8-3 victory of the Aussie Spirit behind the bat of Emily Carosone in Wednesday night’s series opener at Hobart-Detter Field in Hutchinson, Kansas.
Carosone, an All-NPF selection in 2017, clobbered her first two home runs of the season, including the go-ahead blast with the Bandits trailing 3-2 in the fourth. The left-hander’s second long ball of the game came as an opposite-field solo shot in the sixth.
The former Auburn standout, now in her third season at the professional level, tied her single-season high with the two home runs and finished with a four-hit, five-RBI performance to earn Vaultz Lock It Up! Player of the Game honors.
Bandits (5-0) first baseman Courtney Gano also launched her first home run in the NPF with a solo blast to center in the third. Gano earned the league’s Rookie of the Week award Wednesday after sporting a .615 average during a four-game sweep of the Cleveland Comets.
Carosone and Gano’s offensive efforts, combined with a shutdown relief performance from Lacey Waldrop, powered the win.
Waldrop, who appeared in all four games against the Comets to open the season, continued her excellent stretch of play. The right-hander delivered four innings of work out of the bullpen to earn her first win of the season. Right-hander Shelby Turnier also tossed one inning to close the game without allowing a baserunner.
Haylie Wagner started the contest and surrendered three runs in two innings.
Spirit pitcher Monica Perry suffered the loss and fell to 2-5 on the season.
Other notable highlights included Kristyn Sandberg’s second home run of the season, a solo blast in the sixth, and a single off the bat of rookie Sashel Palacios in her first career at-bat.
The Bandits and Spirit will meet up for Game 2 of a nine-game stretch Wednesday at Wilkins Softball Complex in Wichita, Kansas. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on NPFTV.
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2004 provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Aussie Spirit, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Chicago Bandits, Cleveland Comets and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2018 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada and China among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.