KANNAPOLIS – The Chicago Bandits snapped a seven game losing streak Wednesday night against the Carolina Diamonds, winning 7-0.
“They didn’t do anything special. They just got the key hits in situations. They have got great speed on their team and just made things happen,” head coach Lisa Navas said.
The game pitted two of the best pitchers in the league - Chicago’s Monica Abbott (10-3) and Carolina’s Katie Burkhart (8-7) - against one another after Diamonds rookie pitcher Angel Bunner handed Abbott her first loss of the season at the two team’s last meeting.
It took three innings for either team to reach the scoreboard when Bandits short stop Tammy Williams hit a solo shot to center field to make it 1-0.
The top of the fifth would see Chicago begin to pull away when a double by Megan Wiggins drove in Evangelina Galindo and Tammy Williams. Chicago would tack on two more by the inning’s end when Amber Patton doubled and drove in Wiggins and Michelle Moses, setting the score at 5-0.
Chicago would go on to score two more in the game. Williams would attempt to steal third resulting in an error in the sixth and her advancing home to make it 6-0. Wiggin stole home in the seventh after a dropped pitch to set the final score 7-0.
“We did get outs but we could be a little bit smarter in situations. Offensively, we had runners in position and just needed someone to come through with a hit. I’m not going to take anything from Monica Abbott, she did a great job, but we needed some key hits and we didn’t get them tonight,” Navas said.
The Diamonds defense made several key plays during the game. Jami Lobpries dove through the center field fence to prevent a home run and rein in a third out while third baseman Kelsi Weseman made a diving catch to secure an out in foul territory.
“Jamie did a great job even when we were out in Chicago and this last week. She made some great stops out there. It’s not anything new for us and she did a great job,” Navas said of Lobpries, who is filling in for usual center fielder Caitlin Lever.
Wednesday night’s meeting is not the first look at Chicago and the Diamonds know what to expect over the next three games in Kannapolis, Hickory and Lexington. Anybody that pitches after Monica Abbott will not have the same movement on the ball Abbott displays and Chicago usually brings Niki Nemitz out to follow-up the ace Navas said.
“We just need to play our ball and get things going and we will be ok,” Navas added.
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.