Photo credit: Dina Kwit, courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
ROSEMONT — A two-run homer off the bat of Emily Carosone proved to be the difference as the Chicago Bandits earned a narrow 2-1 victory over the USSSA Pride in their series opener Friday at Parkway Bank Sports Complex.
Carosone’s second-inning blast, her 12th of the season, placed her in a tie alongside Pride first baseman Lauren Chamberlain for the league lead. It negated an early 1-0 deficit as a quartet of pitchers — Coley Ries, Haylie Wagner, Lacey Waldrop and Ally Carda — managed to shut down Pride at the plate.
Wagner (W, 6-2) collected her sixth victory of the season after the southpaw tossed two scoreless frames in relief. The veteran hurler surrendered two hits and struck out three. Right-hander Ally Carda finished off the game with her team-high fourth save of the campaign. Rookie shortstop DJ Sanders sealed the win with a pinpoint throw to first on the run to retire Pride speedster Allexis Bennett.
USSSA right-hander Kelsey Nunley suffered the loss despite allowing just two runs across four innings of work. Carosone’s two-run homer to negate the Pride’s one-run lead early in the game marked her lone blemish.
The Pride scored the game’s first run via a sacrifice fly from shortstop Shelby Pendley.
The Bandits and Pride will continue their three-game series Saturday at Parkway Bank Sports Complex. First pitch is set for 7:35 p.m. and the game will be broadcast via Bleacher Report Live (Turner).
For more information about the Chicago Bandits or to purchase tickets to the upcoming NPF Championship Series between the Bandits and Pride, please visit chicagobandits.com or call the box office at 877-722-6348.
Records: USSSA (41-4), Chicago (36-9)
Vaultz Lock It Up! Player of the Game: Emily Carosone (1-for-2, HR, 2 RBI)
The Bandits celebrated Jennie Finch Night at the ballpark. The former Olympian and decorated NPF standout signed autographs for the first 100 fans.
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.