ELGIN, IL.-The Chicago Bandits had everything going.A four run first inning with three home runs, two more blasts in the third
inning and Jessica Sallinger had a perfect game going into the fourth
The Bandits held an 8-0 lead in the fourth inning and looked to be cruising
to the team's tenth straight win. Suddenly the Thunder broke up Sallinger's
shutout in the sixth inning when Lindsay Gardner belted a shot to right
field. It looked like a home run but fell just short of the wall and Amanda
Williams scored. Tonya Callahan added another RBI on a blooper single in
shallow right field and Rockford closed the score to 8-2.
Rockford loaded the bases in the seventh and a two RBI double by Gardner
closed the score to 8-5 after Tracie Adix came in to relieve Sallinger. The
Thunder loaded the bases again when Amanda Freed entered the game hoping to
earn her first save of the season. Freed got Stephanie Best to hit a
playable grounder to second and the Bandits survived.
Auriel Jenkins provided a huge boost t the effort when she scaled the left
field wall and took a sure home run away from Beth Boden.
Chicago (30-16) indeed picked up its tenth straight victory with the 8-5
triumph over the Rockford Thunder (18-28) Friday night at the Judson Sports
Complex in National Pro Fastpitch play. The Bandits remain tied with the
Washington Glory for the best record in the NPF but hold the tiebreaker.
"We gave up a lot of walks, but Auriel's catch really saved the game for
us." Stacy May said. "Rockford has good hitters, everyone in this league can
Stacy May hit a lead off home run to start the game and not wanting to be
outdone-after Kristie Fox singled to get on base-Rachel Folden belted out
her tenth home run of the season. Leading 3-0, Nicole Trimboli added another
bomb. The Bandits (30-16) led 4-0 and set a team record with three home runs
in one inning.
Folden added a single in the second inning that scored May and the Bandits
"Today our goal was to start hot and finish strong," Folden said. "[The
Thunder] is battling for a playoff spot and they did their job. We wanted to
clamp them down and Jenkin's catch shifted the momentum."
Chicago's bats continued to roll into the fourth inning. In a near identical
performance of the first, May hit a two run blast-her 13th home run of the
season. It tied her with Sara Larquier and Oli Keohohou of the Washington
Glory for the lead in the NPF. With 33 RBI's May is also tied with Kristen
Butler for second place in the league behind Jamie Clark (36). Rachel Folden
added her second home run of the game one batter later and after four
innings the Bandits held an 8-0 advantage.
"When you hit the ball over the wall it is going to be huge for the
offense," May said. "With five home runs, that's at least five runs even if
no one else is on base."
Rockford's (18-28) starter Serena Settlemier (3-11) came out after four
innings after giving up eight hits and all runs were earned. Cassidy
Scoggins made her second straight appearance from the bullpen in as many
games and came in for Settlemier.
Sallinger went six innings with three hits, three runs and six strikeouts
before giving way to Tracie Adix. Rockford loaded the bases and a two RBI
double by Gardner closed the score to 8-5. Amanda Freed came in to pitch for
Adix in the seventh.
Notes: Auriel Jenkins stole a home run from Beth Boden in the seventh inning
by reaching over the left field wall and taking away a sure home run…
Jessica Sallinger (12-6) had a perfect game and no hitter broken up in the
fourth inning…May is in the running for the NPF Triple Crown. She ranks
second in average, first in home runs and second in RBI's
"It's surprising to be honest, I don't think of myself as a big home run and
RBI hitter," May said. "I try to take the same approach to every at bat. It
worked well so I'll stick to it."