Photo credit: DIna Kwit, courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
ROSEMONT — As has been the case all season-long against USSSA Pride southpaw Keilani Ricketts, the Chicago Bandits could not muster a run against the veteran southpaw and dropped Game 2 of the best-of-five Championship Series by a score of 3-0 Friday night at Parkway Bank Sports Complex.
Ricketts rolled through the Bandits order and surrendered just three hits in a complete-game effort. The Team USA standout struck out five in her first appearance since July 24 to give the Pride a 2-0 lead in the series.
The Bandits countered with a quartet of arms — Shelby Turnier, Aleshia Ocasio, Rachele Fico and Paige Lowary — and nearly matched Ricketts pitch-for-pitch until USSSA extended its lead in the seventh with a pair of runs.
The Pride plated the game’s first run in the third when Ocasio’s delivery to the plate skipped underneath the glove of Bandits catcher Kristyn Sandberg. The single run remained the game’s lone tally until a single off the bat of Kelly Kretschman and an RBI groundout from Sierra Romero off Lowary made it 3-0 ballgame, which provided plenty of support behind Ricketts’ effort in the circle.
Ricketts, who earned All-NPF distinction at the league’s awards banquet Wednesday night, did not allow a hit until a two-out single from NPF Player of the Year Brenna Moss in the third. All three hits yielded by Ricketts came with two outs in the inning.
Turnier suffered the loss after the third-year right-hander allowed one unearned run in 2.2 innings of work.
The Bandits and Pride will take the field for Game 3 of the NPF Championship Series on Friday night at Parkway Bank Sports Complex. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. and the game will be broadcast via ESPN+.
For more information about National Pro Fastpitch or to purchase tickets to the Championship Series, please visit profastpitch.com or call the box office at 877-722-6348.
Championship Series records: USSSA (2-0), Chicago (0-2)
Vaultz Lock It Up! Player of the Game: Keilani Ricketts (W, CG, 0 R, 3 H, 3 BB, 5 K)
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.