ELGIN - In the top of the seventh, Bandits catcher Rachel Folden finally broke through against Rockford’s Cat Osterman, getting the first hit of the game off Osterman (11-0) for a single through the left side. Bandits’ first baseman Samantha Findlay followed Folden up with her own single to put two on.
With two down and two on, Osterman did what she does best, getting Bandits’ left fielder Nicole Trimboli swinging for the final out of the game, giving Rockford the 2-0 victory.
In the top of the first, with two down and Chelsea Mesa on second, Rockford’s Chelsea Spencer opened the scoring for the Thunder with a line-drive blast up the middle to score Mesa as she was able to reach second base for a double off Bandits’ pitcher Eileen Canney (9-4). The hit gave Rockford an early 1-0 lead.
The very next batter, Shanna Diller, followed Spencer up with a full-count walk to put two on with two down. Four pitches later Diller and Spencer moved to second and third on a wild pitch by Chicago’s Canney.
With two on in scoring position, Rockford’s Jenne Leles blasted a pitch through the left side of the infield to score Spencer from third. Diller was on her horse, trying to score from second, but was tagged out at home to end the inning as Nicole Trimboli threw out Diller at home.
Rockford’s Cat Osterman made quick work of the Bandits in the first inning by sitting down all three on swinging strikeouts 1-2-3.
With one down in the top of the fourth Rockford’s Shanna Diller got a hold of a Canney pitch, sending it on a frozen rope, deep down the left field line and past a diving Nicole Trimboli for a triple. Diller’s liner was the first hit from a Thunder batter in two innings, since the two-run first.
Amber Patton put the first Bandit on base in the bottom of the fourth when a throwing error allowed her to reach second base on an infield single. Cat Osterman held tight in the circle for the Thunder however, striking out the next three batters to strand Patton at second and end the inning.
A pitcher’s duel continued throughout most the game with Canney equaling Osterman in the circle through seven.
It all came down to the bottom of the seventh for the Bandits, down 2-0, but Osterman held tough, getting the final out with a strike out, her 13 strikeout of the game in seven innings pitched. The Bandits mustered just two hits off Osterman.
Canney finished with seven strikeouts, two walks and two earned runs.