ROSEMONT, Ill. -- It was Taylor Swift Night Sunday but Monica Abbott was the one making records at Rosemont Stadium.
With a two-out strikeout of Miceala Minner in the top of the sixth, Abbott set the new Bandits single season strikeout record with No. 138 on the season. The record was previously held by Lauren Bay (137 in 2005).
Abbott struck out a total of 3 on Sunday, pushing the record to 140 thus far in 2011.
Rain delayed the start of Sunday’s matchup by an hour and 20 minutes. Once the storms broke, the Akron offense broke the game open with a 3-run first inning, propelled by solo home runs from Samantha Marder and Nicole Pauly.
More rain delayed the game again in the top of the third with Racers at the corners, who were promptly driven in by Megan Bush when the delay ended. The single gave Akron and starter Kristina Thorson a 4-0 lead.
The tide began to turn toward Chicago in the bottom of the third as the Bandits posted six runs in the inning. Three Racer errors aided Chicago’s rally. A Kelly Montalvo error led to a Megan Wiggins two-RBI single. The Bandits would eventually tie the game at 4-4 before the error bug bit the Racers again.
Vicky Galindo hit a short chopper to Toni Paisley who made an errant throw to first. Williams pushed the envelope trying to score from second and forced another bad throw from Racers first baseman Nicole Trimboli.
In need of a shutdown inning, the Bandits committed an error of their own to put Akron in position to score, which the Racers took advantage of. With runners on, Trimboli hit a soft line drive up the middle which was knocked down by Danielle Zymkowitz. A run scored after a bad throw home by Tammy Williams to slash the lead to 6-5.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Pauly came through again with a single up the middle, plating two runners and giving the Racers a 7-6 lead. Nemitz would work out of a bases loaded jam to end the top half of the fourth.
Donna Bourgeois relieved Nemitz in the fifth but ran into trouble in the sixth inning. The rookie walked Pauly to lead off the inning. Jessica Williams came in to pinch run and stole second, advancing on a dropped third strike that allowed Taylor Schlopy to reach first.
That would be all for Bourgeois as Bandits ace Monica Abbott came on in relief with runners at the corners and nobody out. Kelly Montalvo hit a fly ball to left and Wiggins gunned down Williams out home for the double play. Abbott struck out Minner to end the top half of the inning.
Chicago and Akron would go quietly in the bottom of the sixth and top of the seventh, leaving the Bandits with just the bottom of the seventh to overcome the 7-6 deficit.
Paisley, however, handled the Bandits’ bats and picked up her second win of 2011.