First place in the National Pro Fastpitch standings was on the line as the Chicago Bandits (3-3) played their home debut at Judson University in Elgin, Ill. against the Akron Racers (4-2) on Sunday, June 20.
An error filled fifth inning by the Bandits put the Racers ahead for good. Racers' center fielder, Lisa Modglin started the two run scoring spree, making it to first base after Bandits first baseman, Samantha Findlay bobbled the ball on a throw from Bandits' shortstop, Christine Knauer. No one was on first base when Bandits' pitcher, Eileen Canney, attempted to throw out Racers designated player Jackie Pasquerella at first base. With nobody covering first, Modglin advanced to third and Pasquerella moved to second. The next batter up, Micaela Minner, drove in Modglin from third on a grounder to Bandit's second baseman, Emily Friedman. The last error of the inning, a wild pitch by Canney, brought Pasquerella home for the Racers second run of the inning.
The Racers, who are coming off a 3-2 series win against the Tennessee Diamonds, tried to score first in the third inning after loading the bases with one out, but Canney held steady, striking out the next two batters to get the Bandit's out of a jam. Canney pitched a solid game in what became a pitcher's duel, striking out five batters in seven innings on the day.
Akron pitcher, Lisa Norris, put on an equally impressive display, striking out 11and walking only two of the Bandits' batters in seven innings.
A two-run home run by Modglin in the seventh inning sealed the game for the Racers, who had six hits on the day to the Bandits one.
The Bandits were unable to find their hitting, or their footing, against the Racers, falling by a final score of 4-0.
The first game, however, doesn't always determine the outcome of the series, as the Bandits know. Despite losing 16-3 against the USSSA Pride in the season opener, the Bandits fought back to win the series 3-2.
The Bandit's will look to turn things around tomorrow in game two of a three game series at home before the traveling to Akron, Ohio to take on the Racers in another three game series next weekend. Game two begins tomorrow at 7:00 pm at Judson University.