Monica Abbott Photo By Dina Kwit Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
ROSEMONT, Ill. – July 1, 2015 – Last night, it was Cat Osterman who turned in a terrific performance in the circle for the Pride. Tonight, it was Monica Abbott’s turn to deliver a gem for the Bandits. The Bandits ace tossed a complete game, three-hit shutout in a 7-0 victory as the Bandits picked up their first win of the 2015 season against the Pride.
“I just wanted to go out there and be aggressive,” Abbott said. “We lost two really close games in games one and two in this series, so it was really important to just keep my team in the game and be an aggressor out there.”
Abbott was dominant throughout, against a potent Pride lineup. Natalie Hernandez (1-for-1, 2B, 2 RBI) provided a clutch pinch-hit, two-RBI double for the Bandits, who improved to 14-6 on the season. The Pride dropped to 10-5.
After a scoreless opening inning, the Bandits opened up scoring in the second courtesy of an RBI-double to the left field corner by Taylor Edwards (2-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI) that scored Danielle Zymkowitz (0-for-2, BB, R) all the way from first base.
From there, Abbott cruised the rest of the way en route to her fourth win and third shutout of the season. She fanned nine batters in the process. It was a nice bounce-back outing for Abbott, who was settled with the loss in the series opener in a relief effort.
The Bandits then struck for three runs in the fourth inning to give Abbott plenty of support. Following an intentional walk issued to Edwards, Natalie Hernandez came on to pinch-hit for Brenna Moss (0-for-2, R) and delivered in a big way. She sprayed a liner to the right-center gap that glanced off the outstretched glove of Pride right fielder Kelly Kretschman, scoring two runs. That gave the Bandits a 3-0 lead and Moss, who re-entered as a pinch-runner, later came around to score by stealing home when Megan Blank (1-for-2, HBP) intentionally got into a rundown between first and second base.
“We’ve been struggling a little bit (offensively),” Abbott said. “It was good for us to come around tonight and put the ball in play a little bit more and get our confidence back up.”
The Bandits tacked on three more runs in the fifth to put the game out of reach. Tammy Williams (2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R) had a two-RBI double and Edwards added another RBI-single to push the lead to 7-0.
Abbott finished off the game by retiring 11 of the final 12 batters she faced, still firing the ball iconsistently at 71-73 miles per hour late in the game.
The Bandits will go for the series split tomorrow night after dropping the first two games to the Pride. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. CST.
“We’re going to fight on every pitch,” Abbot said. “That’s out motto this year. We need to have quality at-bats and quality pitches and just be in the game every time.”
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.