Philadelphia to play Washington in elimination game
KIMBERLY, Wis. – When things are going well, you can put a first baseman and a shortstop in the outfield and good things will happen.
That was exactly the case for the Comcast Chicago Bandits on Saturday night for both Nicole Trimboli and Jaime Clark. It was their defense that helped propel them to the championship game of the 2008 NPF Championship Series with a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Force.
Trimboli went through the collapsible left field fence to rob a homerun in the first inning to save three runs and her teammate Clark went through the right field fence to do the same. The play resulted in a sacrifice fly for Chelsea Spencer, scoring the Forces only run of the game. Clark’s catch was equally impressive, as she was able to save a potential home run off the bat of the regular season batting champion, Kellie Wilkerson.
Chicago responded in its half of the bottom of the first inning to score the only runs they would need in the ballgame. After Stacy May and Kristie Fox were retired to the start the inning the Bandits recorded four consecutive hits, including a two RBI single by Trimboli and an RBI single by Samantha Findlay.
The next threat for either team came in the bottom of the third inning for the Bandits. They loaded the bases with just one out, but Force pitcher Megan Gibson was able to escape any damage with an infield fly ball and a strikeout. However, Gibson did not fair as well in the fourth, and it was not all by her own doing. Aileen Morales led off the inning with a single and Fox followed two batters later with an infield hit of her own. Fox should have never reached base, but Wilkerson dropped a routine foul ball to allow the at-bat to continue. The error on Wilkerson was the Force eighth miscue in two games in Kimberly.
This set the stage for Bandits catcher and the 2008 Nokona American Glove Rookie of the Year Rachel Folden and she delivered with a two-RBI double to deep left center. Folden led the Chicago offense on the day as she finished 4-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored.
After surrendering a first inning run and two first inning hits to the Force, Bandits pitcher Jessica Sallinger settled in nicely for the duration of the contest. She allowed just two hits over the next six innings, while striking out six. Sallinger has now pitched 11 2/3 innings in the first two games and has recorded both of the Bandits victories.
NOTES: Chicago will advance to the NPF Championship Series title game on Sunday at Sunset Park in Kimberly. They will play the winner of the Force and Washington Glory game for the Cowles Cup. If the Bandits lose in the first championship game at 2:45 p.m., there will be an extra game played to decide the 2008 champion.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Force 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 3
Bandits 3 0 0 2 0 0 x 5 12 0
NPF Playoff Schedule
Friday, August 22, 2008
Game 1 – Chicago Bandits, 4 vs. New England Riptide, 1 – FINAL
Game 2 – Philadelphia Force, 7 vs. Washington Glory, 2 – FINAL
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Game 3 – New England Riptide, 2 vs. Washington Glory, 11 – FINAL
Game 4 – Chicago Bandits, 5 vs. Philadelphia Force, 1 – FINAL
Sunday, August 24, 2008
(Probable Starting Pitchers)
Game 5 – Washington Glory (Sarah Pauly) vs. Philadelphia Force (Megan Gibson) – 12 p.m.
Game 6 – Chicago Bandits (Kristina Thorson) vs. Winner Game #5 (TBD) – 2:45 p.m. (CHAMPIONSHIP)
Game 7 – IF GAME
The championship game (Game #6 and #7 – if necessary) will be available through live streaming at www.mlb.com. Fans can either find the game through mlb.com or they can go to http://www.profastpitch.com/pagebank/index.html?id=961 and follow the links to the live streaming. There will be no fee for the fans to tune in to the live broadcast.
Bernie Guenther, who is the voice of NPF on all Fox Sports Net broadcasts, will handle all of the play-by-play action. Joey Arrietta, GM of the Akron Racers, as well as NPF President/Commissioner Cheri Kempf, will provide color analysis.
Gametracker will also be available for all games of the NPF Championship Series and will be available at no cost to fans. To access the Gametracker, fans will have to logon to the league website at www.profastpitch.com.
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).