ROSEMONT, Ill. – Entering tonight’s game on a three game losing streak, the Bandits looked to return to their winning ways as the Carolina Diamonds came to town for their first series in the Ballpark at Rosemont.
Monica Abbott entered the circle for the Bandits and started them off in the right direction as she struck out the side to start the game. With Angel Bunner pitching for the Diamonds, it looked as if the Bandits would continue the strong start after two walks, but Alisa Goler grounded out into a double play allowing the Diamonds to hold the Bandits scoreless going into the second.
It was a pitcher’s duel heading into the third inning, when Shannon Doepking recorded the first hit of the game for either team but the Bandits remained off the scoreboard leaving two runners on base.
Abbott showed no signs of slowing down in the fourth inning as she added two more strikeouts, bringing her total to nine before GiOnna DiSalvatore grounded out to Alisa Goler to end the inning.
The Bandits continued to find ways to get on base as Kristen Butler was walked and Brittany Cervantes hit a single, but Moses, pinch running for Butler, was left on third and Cervantes was left on second to end the inning, leaving the game scoreless going into the fifth.
In the fifth inning, the Diamonds managed to get their first runner on base as Bianca Mejia was hit by an Abbott pitch. Despite the setback, Abbott increased her strikeout total to 12 on the night after striking out Rachel Folden, Amy Hooks and Annie Lockwood.
Doepking got on base for the second time in the bottom of the inning as Mejia failed to hold onto the ball. Zymkowitz followed up with a bunt, but was thrown out as Vangie Galindo, pinch running for Doepking, advanced to second. Wiggins drilled a hit to center field attempting to bring in Galindo, but she was thrown out at the plate. The Diamonds would end the inning with no damage done.
The Bandits opened up the game in the bottom of the sixth as Butler hit a solo home run to give the Bandits a 1-0 lead. Cervantes followed up with a double that she hit deep to right field. Tammy Williams then came up and hit a shot to center field allowing Cervantes to score for the 2-0 lead before advancing to second on the throw. Amanda Williams brought home Tammy to increase the lead to three.
With two outs and a 3-0 lead, the Bandits weren’t done as Doepking hit a solo home run, the second of the inning, for a 4-0 lead before the Diamonds were able to get themselves out of the inning.
In the top of the seventh, Abbott added one more strikeout to end the night with a very fitting total of 14, completing her third no-hitter of the season.
Abbott’s no-hitter and the teams 16th win of the season were just what they were looking for as they turned their streak around.
The Bandits and Diamonds return to action tomorrow night at 7:35 p.m. for game two of the series.
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. www.profastpitch.com