The Chicago Bandits and the USSSA Florida Pride Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
EAST PEORIA, Ill. – July 30, 2015 - The Chicago Bandits used a three-run homer to jump out in front, but Lauren Chamberlain hit two of the USSSA Pride’s three homers on the night to power her squad to a 6-3 victory Wednesday night at the EastSide Centre.
The Bandits took advantage of a pair of singles to open the top of the second when Megan Blank staked Chicago to an early 3-0 lead with a towering three-run homer to right.
The Pride got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third, pushing a pair of runs across to trim the Chicago lead to 3-2. Natasha Watley led off the frame with the second of her four hits on the night and she came around to score on an Andrea Duran infield single. A Bandit error later in the inning trying to get a force out at third allowed the Pride to plate another run.
Chamberlain knotted the score, ripping the first pitch of the bottom of the fourth over the fence in left center to tie the game at 3-3.
Another leadoff homer for the Pride in the bottom of the fifth gave the designated home team the lead for the first time in the contest. Duran hit a solo shot to left on the first pitch of the fifth to give the Pride a 4-3 lead.
Chamberlain collected her second home run of the night with a two-run shot later in the frame to extend the Pride advantage to 6-3.
Chelsea Thomas struck out eight in the complete game victory for the Pride to up her record to 7-3 on the year. She worked around eight hits and a pair of walks in the victory.
The two teams will close out a four-game series Thursday with a 7 p.m. game at the EastSide Centre in East Peoria, Ill.
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 USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
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.