Taylor’s Two-Run Shot Leads Bandits Past Eagles

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MANKATO, Minn. — Nadia Taylor delivered her second home run of the season, a two-run shot late in the ballgame, as the Bandits squeaked out a 4-2 win over the Beijing Shougang Eagles on Thursday at Caswell Park in Mankato, Minnesota.

Taylor stepped to the plate locked in a 1-1 game as the Bandits duo of Haylie Wagner and Paige Lowary went pitch-for-pitch against Beijing rookie right-hander Allie Walljasper. The former Texas Charge standout turned on a 1-0 delivery and sent it over the left-field fence to give the Bandits the lead for good.

Taylor, who uncorked 10 home runs during the 2017 season, has hit both of her deep flies on the road in 2018.

Lowary managed to back the offensive support from Taylor and worked effectively in relief. The southpaw entered in the fourth and allowed just a single run while striking out five. After Beijing loaded the bases in the sixth, Lowary stealthily maneuvered out of the jam by striking out the side.

The Oklahoma product and No. 1 overall selection in the 2018 NPF Draft has fanned 13 batters in just 6.2 innings of work throughout an impressive start to her professional career.

Lowary earned the win out of the bullpen, marking her second relief victory of the season.

Aleshia Ocasio collected her first career save by tossing a scoreless seventh, while Wagner settled for a no-decision after scattering four hits across 3.1 innings to begin the game.

The Bandits received additional support on the scoreboard from outfielders Sammy Marshall (1-for-2, 2B, RBI) and Brenna Moss (1-for-3, SF, RBI). Shortstop Delaney Spaulding (2-for-3) and catcher Sashel Palacios (2-for-4) also contributed multi-hit efforts.

Beijing’s Walljasper suffered a difficult loss and fell to 2-3 on the season. The former LSU star allowed three runs, including Taylor’s go-ahead home run, over six innings in the circle before giving way to fellow rookie Emily Watson.

The Bandits (15-0) and Eagles (11-13) will be back in action with a Friday doubleheader. First pitch in Game 1 is set for 4 p.m. at Caswell Park. The back half of the twin bill will begin approximately 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first game. Both games will be broadcast via NPFTV.

For more information about the Chicago Bandits or to purchase to tickets to any remaining home game during the 2018 season, please visit chicagobandits.com or call the box office at 877-722-6348.

EXTRA INNINGS

— Attendance: 460

— Vaultz Lock It Up! Player of the Game: Nadia Taylor (1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI)

About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)

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.

Photo credit: Nick Monaghan, courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch

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