ELGIN, IL.-When the Chicago Bandits scored two first inning runs, it didn’t expect it to be the last time Chicago scored in the game.
Fortunately for the Bandits (24-16), Kristina Thorson (9-5) continued her dominant play with a five hit complete game win and the Chicago Bandits defeated the New England Riptide 2-1 Friday night at the Judson Sports Complex in the first game of a National Pro Fastpitch series.
Chicago led 2-0 in the seventh inning in the Riptide’s final at bat. Carmen Paez led off the inning with a grounder to Aileen Morales for the first out. KJ Kelley scored the Riptides first run with a monster home run flying into the dark sky and landing behind the outfield bleachers to close the Bandits lead to 2-1. Shanel Scott hit a weak grounder to Thorson for the second out. Thorson got Cari Martin to strike out on three strikes to end the game.
“I thought ‘man that sucks,’ next pitch,” Thorson said after allowing the home run. “In the first inning I felt tight but started to stretch and everything began to work. Even if we’re ahead by a lot I keep the mentality that it is a close game. Any time you put your guard down that’s when bad things can happen.”
Stacy May led began the game for the Bandits with her league leading 51 hit of the season and Jamie Clark hit a two out double. With May and Clark in scoring position, Nicole Trimboli hit a two RBI double that gave Chicago a 2-0 lead.
“Once I get two strikes I don’t want anyone to be in control other than myself,” Trimboli said. “It wasn’t the best form but we’ll take it. Any time you fight good things will happen.”
The Riptide threatened in the third inning with Scott and Cari Martin leading off the innings with singles. Kristina Thorson got Jackie Pasquerella to strike out and Lisa Modglin a high foul ball that was trailing out of play on the first base side. Samantha Findlay raced over and snagged the ball before it hit the netting for the second out. Mindy Cowles got the final out charging after a ground ball, Martin ran into Cowles for runner interference.
Erica Beach (2-6) pitched a complete game for the Riptide.
“[Coach] Mickey [Dean] told us after the game to just to move the batters over on bunts and base hits,” Trimboli said. “Sometimes it just takes one hit.”
The Chicago Bandits are in its fourth season in the National Pro Fastpitch women's professional softball league. Established in 2005, the Bandits moved to Elgin, IL in 2008 and play at Judson University. Chicago features US Olympians Jennie Finch and Vicky Galindo. Season tickets, group tickets and individual tickets are available and start at $10. For more information call 877-7BANDIT or visit www.chicagobandits.com.