KIMBERLY, Wis. – The Comcast Chicago Bandits knocked off the No. 4 seeded New England Riptide in game one of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Championship Series on Friday night in Kimberly 4-1 to move to the winner’s bracket where they will face either Philadelphia or Washington.
New England got on the board first with a solo home run to deep left field by All-NPF selection Lisa Modglin, but the lead didn’t last long. Chicago, who typically plays on a field with 190 foot fences, took the lead for good with a home run of their own in the bottom of the third inning.
Stacy May got things started for the Bandits in the inning with a single up the middle to set the stage for second year player Kristie Fox. With one out in the inning Fox drilled an Eileen Canney pitch over the left field fence to give Chicago a 2-1 lead.
The two teams would exchange zeros on the board for the next couple of innings before Nicole Trimboli added some insurance for the Bandits with a two-run home run of her own. All-NPF outfielder Jaime Clark started the inning with a swinging bunt to third bringing Trimboli to the plate. On a called hit and run by Bandits skipper Mickey Dean, Trimboli hit a lined shot over the centerfield fence that sent Riptide centerfielder Gina Carbonatto through the fence.
“Coach (Dean) gave a hit and run, so I was just trying to hit the ball hard somewhere,” said Trimboli. “I was able to put a good swing on it and fortunately it went out over the outstretched glove of Carbo (Carbonatto).”
The offense was effective for the Bandits, but the real story of the game was the outstanding relief appearance of right-hander Jessica Sallinger. Sallinger came on to relieve Kristina Thorson in the third inning and was near perfect. She allowed just one base runner, a two-out walk to KJ Kelley in the fourth inning, to come away with the win. On the night Sallinger faced 15 hitters, retiring 14 of them, including the last 10 of the game.
The Riptide will play the loser of tonight’s game two between the Force and Glory.
NOTES: The win for Chicago was their 13th in a row. Thorson allowed all five hits surrendered in the game for the Bandits. Canney struck out five hitters in the game.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Riptide 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 5 0
Bandits 0 0 2 0 0 2 x 4 6 0
NPF Playoff Schedule
Friday, August 22, 2008
Game 1 – Chicago Bandits, 4 vs. New England Riptide, 1 – FINAL
Game 2 – Philadelphia Force (2) vs. Washington Glory (3) – 8:45 p.m.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Game 3 – New England Riptide vs. Loser Game #2 – 3 p.m.
Game 4 – Chicago Bandits vs. Winner Game #2 – 5:45 p.m.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Game 5 – Winner Game #3 vs. Loser Game #4 – 12 p.m.
Game 6 – Winner Game #4 vs. Winner Game #5 – 2:45 p.m. (CHAMPIONSHIP)
Game 7 – IF GAME
Tickets can be purchased online at www.cardinalyouthsoftball.com. A series pass is just $35. Passes for only Friday or Saturday action is $15. Sunday passes are $25.
About National Pro Fastpitch
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL).