Tension was thick in the ball park as Crystl Bustos stepped up to bat with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Not because she could win the game for the Akron Racers (12-7), but because she had the opportunity to ruin Jennie Finch’s (1-1) no hitter.
Bustos would ground out to Christine Knauer at short stop to end the game with a 2-0 Bandits (11-8) win.
Stacy May started off the game strong for the Bandits with a solo shot over the left field fence in the first inning. Finch helped herself out in the fifth inning with a bases loaded sacrifice fly to score Vicky Galindo for the final score of 2-0.
Finch of course pitched a great game, notching eleven strikeouts on the night including all three Akron batters in the sixth, but had the backup of her team mates, “Our defense, especially (Ashley) Holcombe came up huge. She caught so many fouled third strikes,” said Finch.
Everybody’s stomachs dropped in the seventh inning when leadoff hitter Lisa Modglin ripped a hard line drive on a 1-2 count, but Galindo’s glove at second base would reach just far enough to snag the ball for the out.
This is Finch’s second perfect game with the Bandits, her first coming in the 2009 season against the Philadelphia Force.
With Finch and others being away with the National Team recently, the pitching staff for the Bandits has had to work extra hard, “I owe this team,” said Finch, “the pitching staff has endured a lot of innings.”
Needless to say, the Bandits are glad to have Finch on their side.
Tonight’s win ties the series up at one game a-piece. Game three between the Bandits and Racers will take place tomorrow, Saturday, July 10 at 7:05 back at Judson University in Elgin.