ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Bandits began a night of celebration as they unveiled the Championship banner from last season in center field prior to the start of the game. Among other pre-game festivities were the retirement of the numbers of former Bandits Laura Harms and Stacy May-Johnson.
In the season opening rematch from last season’s Championship series, the Pride jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first after a Bandits error allowed Charlotte Morgan to advance home.
The Bandits came out swinging with a hot start in the bottom of the first with a double from Amber Patton. Tammy Williams then hit an RBI single to score Patton and tie the game. Kristen Butler floated a single over the shortstop to bring home another run to give the Bandits the lead. At the end of the first, the Bandits held a 3-1 lead over the Pride.
The offense quieted down after the first inning as Bandits pitcher Monica Abbott continued to hold the Pride without a hit. Butler gave the offense a bit of a spark as she led off the bottom of the fourth with a shot to left field, advancing to third on an error.
Vicky Galindo flew out to center field allowing Butler to run home to give the Bandits a 4-1 lead.
Francesca Enea got the Pride’s first hit of the night in the top of the sixth with a drive to left field putting an end to Abbott’s no hitter. The hit didn’t bring Abbott down as she struck out three of the four batters she faced in the sixth, bringing her strikeout count to eight.
The Bandits had all the runs they needed to close out the game for a 4-1 victory to open the season. Abbott led the team as she completed the game with 10 strikeouts while giving up only one hit.
About National Pro Fastpitch:
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.