Taylor Edwards Home Run Celebration Photo By Dina Kwit Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
ROSEMONT, Ill. – July 27, 2015 – In her last outing, Monica Abbott was perfect against the Dallas Charge. In Monday night’s series opener against the USSSA Pride, she was not perfect. However, she was equally as impressive, tossing all nine innings in a thrilling 3-0 walk-off victory for the Bandits. It was a much-needed win for the Bandits, who entered tonight’s game even with the Pride in the loss column, but with four less wins. With the victory, the Bandits moved to within a half game of catching their NPF rivals for the top spot in the league.
Taylor Edwards (1-for-4, HR, 3 RBI) provided the heroics for the Bandits, launching a two-out, three-run shot over the left-center wall in the ninth inning. It was the second walk-off of the season for Edwards, who took Keilani Ricketts deep on a changeup, a pitch she had been fooled all night by.
“She had been getting me on that pitch all night long,” Edwards said. “I just got my foot down and sat back on that one.”
Edwards, who also caught Abbott’s perfect game last week, called a solid game as Abbott was able to outlast Ricketts in a classic pitcher’s duel. The two matched each other pitch-for-pitch, but it was Abbott who came away with a complete game shutout.
“Monica (Abbott) is a fighter. Her game plan is just to pinpoint every pitch throughout the game and it’s my job to keep her and I together on the field as the battery.”
With zeros reading across the scoreboard, Abbott trotted out to the circle for her ninth inning of work. Even though she allowed a leadoff single to Natasha Watley (1-for-4), Abbott battled through, as she had done all game. The next batter, Kelly Kretschman, lined into a double play, eliminating any scoring threat.
“Tonight, Monica (Abbott) really toughened up in some key situations. She found a way to get the outs she needed to get. Ultimately, she battled and kept us in a position to win the game.”
After Abbott worked her ninth scoreless frame, Tammy Williams (1-for-4, R) beat out an infield single with two outs in the bottom half of the inning to get the winning rally going for the Bandits. Brittany Cervantes (1-for-4, R) followed up with a line drive single to put the winning run at second. That is when Edwards took center stage, launching the game-winning blast to left-center. She was mobbed at home by her teammates and then went over to embrace Abbott as the team continued to celebrate.
The Bandits and Pride will continue their home-and-home series tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. at The Ballpark at Rosemont. The game will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network.
For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit chicagobandits.com or contact the box office at 877-722-6348.
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.