Brittany Cervantes Photo By Dina Kwit Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
Rosemont, Ill. – June 22, 2015 – Monica Abbott proved why she’s the ace pitcher of the Bandits staff throwing a complete game shutout with 14 K’s to give Chicago a 4-0 victory over the Dallas Charge and a 2-0 lead in the season series.
2015 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year and two-time National Champion, Lauren Haeger started in the circle for the Charge. Vanessa Stokes relieved Haeger in the fourth inning after she gave up four runs in 3.1 innings pitched. The four runs scored was more than enough support for Abbott.
“Our team came out and we just competed,” she said. “I think that’s the goal is that we just want to come out every inning and every pitch and just compete and be mentally focused each pitch.”
For the second straight game Taylor Edwards batted in the first Chicago run. Edwards popped out to center to score Emily Allard who led off the first inning with a slap single.
In the second, the Bandits were able to capitalize on two pop-up miscues by Dallas for two runs and increase their lead to 3-0. Brittany Cervantes started the inning with a pop-up that the Charge infielders let drop in the pitcher’s circle. Amber Patton drove Cervantes in with a double. The miscommunication continued when Kelsi Jones hit a pop-up between Kahley Novak at second and Brianna Cherry in shallow right. Patton came around to score on the play after advancing to third on a Danielle Zymkowitz sacrifice bunt.
Abbott ran into a little trouble in the third with runners on first and third and one out but was bailed out by a strikeout and a caught stealing play to squash the lone scoring opportunity. Edwards threw to second after the strikeout where Renada Davis was called safe on the steal but over slid the bag and proceeded to run to third. Tammy Williams threw the ball back to Edwards who chased Kaitlyn Richardson, the base runner on third, back and flipped to Patton who successfully made the tag for the third out.
“I have complete confidence in our defense,” Abbott said. "We have a veteran infield. We are very confident out there and we know that no matter what if we make a good play and a good throw, even if there is a mistake we are going to get it back.”
Cervantes hit her third homer of the season in the fourth to give Chicago their final run and a 4-0 lead.
“I love watching our offense compete out there,” Abbott said. “Every pitch something fun can happen.”
The Bandits will look to go for the series sweep of the Dallas Charge tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m.
Tickets for tomorrow night’s game and all remaining home games of the 2015 season are on sale now. Visit chicagobandits.com or call the box office at 877-722-6348 to order.
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level, and the roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May-Johnson and Tammy Williams. The two-time NPF Champions, who are owned by Bill Sokolis, play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women's professional team. The 2015 season will be the Bandits 11th season in the NPF.
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. 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 and has been since 2002.