Jolene Henderson and Monica Abbott Photo By Jade Hewitt Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
McKinney, TX. - July 10, 2015 – The Chicago Bandits’ Monica Abbott and Dallas Charge’s Jolene Henderson both threw outstanding games in what shaped up to be a good old fashion pitcher’s duel in McKinney. The large crowd was blanketed in pink in dedication to the local Susan G. Komen chapter and cancer awareness. The Charge faithful were treated to two outstanding performances in the circle.
The Bandits and Abbott came out on top, scoring the lone run of the game in the top of the 7th inning to claim the victory 1-0. Abbott struck out 17 and walked two. Henderson, an NPF rookie, was the hard luck loser, firing a complete game 3-hitter, fanning six with no walks. Abbott improved to 6-1. The Bandits moved to a league leading 21-6. Henderson’s record and ERA fell to 2-4 and 1.74 respectively. The Charge is now 8-16 in their inaugural season.
There were very few scoring chances for either squad and when the going got tough both pitchers got tougher. The Charge got an opportunity in the first when Eri Yamada coaxed a one-out walk and after a strikeout stole second base. The Bandits worked around Haeger, walking the righty to get to a left handed bat that
Abbott fanned for her third strikeout of the inning.
It was the fourth inning before a runner reached third base for either offense.
In the top of the frame Brittany Cervantes reached on an error on a ground ball up the middle. Henderson, who worked her way out of three defensive miscues throughout the contest, stranded Cervantes at third by striking out Taylor Edwards in just three pitches.
The home team tried to mount another Charge in the bottom end of the inning, when Haeger came within a few feet of leaving the yard in left center. She legged out a double giving her team a real chance to take the lead. Abbott dug in. Two strike outs and a pop out ended the threat with the runner still standing at second.
Finally, in the top of the seventh, the Bandits would break through with a little help from the Charge defense. Cervantes, lead off the inning with a popup in no-man’s land down the right field land that just found the fair side of the line. The speedy Sammy Marshal ran for Cervantes. After an Edwards strike out Marshal stole second. Danielle Zymkowitz rolled a ball back to Henderson who took a quick look to third, turned and fired to first for the second out of the inning. Breanna Moss, hitting for Natalie Hernandez delivered the killing blow with a sharp ground that hand cuffed Charge shortstop Renada Davis. Marshal came home to open and close the scoring.
The Charge will host the Bandits on Saturday evening at the Ballfields at Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas with the first pitch set for 7 p.m.
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.
The Dallas Charge will begin competition in the National Pro Fastpitch league in 2015. The Charge will provide elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and inspire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, the Charge organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and professionalism. Follow the Dallas Charge at www.dallascharge.com
National Pro Fastpitch is headquarted 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 name 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.