Akron, OH- Donna Bourgeois, the recently signed undrafted rookie pitcher, performed at the level of an National Pro Fastpitch veteran Sunday afternoon, shutting out the Akron Racers (12-12) as the Bandits (15-9) earned a series split with a 4-0 victory.
The former University of Houston star pitched a three-hitter in seven innings of work, walking just four batters. University of Illinois rookie Danielle Zymkowitz stole the offensive spotlight for the Bandits, blasting a three-run homer to right on the first pitch to give the Bandits a 4-0 advantage.
Bourgeois watched the first three games from the visitor’s dugout and knew it would be a tough matchup. She took a unique approach in the pitcher’s circle all afternoon.
“Every game we play Akron is always going to be very competitive series. I just took a deep breath between every pitch and didn’t want get ahead of myself- just worry about the pitch at hand,” said Bourgeois.
The game was scoreless into the fifth inning, but the Bandits finally solved Lisa Norris (5-7). The designated player Nikki Nemitz led off with a walk and was replaced by Robin Thompson to pinch run. Two batters later, Caitlin Lever dropped in a bloop single to shallow right center, plating Robin Thompson from third base to make it 1-0 Bandits.
With two down and two runners in scoring position, Bandits rookie Zymkowitz jumped on the first pitch she saw from Norris blasting the ball over the right field fence to break the game open at 4-0.
Zymkowitz, the Bandits leading hitter at .388, was looking to just get the ball out of the infield and get more run support for her starting pitcher.
“I was looking for something up to get it out of the infield and with these bats once you get a hold of it, the ball goes [a long way],” said Zymkowitz.
“Very poor offensive approach by our team today,” Akron Racers manager Jake Schumann said. “We put about 18 balls in their dugout, meaning we’re not putting the barrel on the bat. We’re looking forward to increasing our road wins, and (Round Rock) Texas should be a good chance to expand the league in front of about 10,000 fans.”
The Racers will travel to Round Rock, Texas to play the Diamonds beginning on Friday July 22nd.
The Bandits will travel to Florida to take on the Pride at ESPN World Wide of Sports beginning on Thursday July 21st.
Kim Lakner, Media Relations