Natalie Hernandez of Chicago Bandits Photo By Dina Kwit Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
ROSEMONT, Ill.- July 31, 2015- The Rebellion defeated the Bandits 4-2 in a wacky game that saw two ties and three lead changes. Kirsten Verdun started for the Bandits against Emma Johnson of the Rebellion. Verdun (L, 3-1) allowed four runs on five hits in the loss.
Natalie Hernandez (2-3, 3B, 1B) started her second straight game for Emily Allard who suffered a wrist injury two days ago. Hernandez kept her hot streak going after yesterday’s homerun with a triple to deep left center in the bottom of the fourth. Tammy Williams (2-3, 2B, RBI) singled Hernandez home to give the Bandits an early 1-0 lead.
“I’m just trying to stay within myself and breathe and know that it could be my last at-bat,” Hernandez said of her mindset at the plate as a starter. “So I’m trying to make every one count because I don’t know what will happen later on.”
Mandy Ogle tied the game at one for the Rebellion with a double to right to score Courtney Senas. Senas singled to left with two outs and Verdun hit Cheyenne Cordes with a pitch to set the stage for Ogle. After Senas scored, the Bandits benefited from a terrific throwing relay from Brittany Cervantes in right to Danielle Zymkowitz to Taylor Edwards to get Cordes out at home.
In the fifth, Megan Blank (1-4, RBI, HR) broke the tie with a deep solo homer to the right field bleachers.
“I feel like our whole lineup is very good players all the way around,” Hernandez said about receiving contributions from the entire team. “Anyone can come off the bench and get a pinch hit. Anyone can do anything that they need to and I think that is what makes our team so great.”
Haylie Wagner (W 3-3) came on in the sixth to earn the win. Johnson allowed four hits and two runs in five innings of work.
Sarah Prezioso tied the game for the Rebellion a second time in the top of the seventh with an opposite field homer. Her homerun bounced off the top of the wall in right center to get out of the ballpark.
Cordes then doubled to score Senas who reached on a fielder’s choice and bring on Tatum Edwards in relief for Verdun. Cordes advanced to third on the late throw home. Ogle bunted to Tatum Edwards who fielded the ball and flipped it to sister battery mate, Taylor Edwards, at home. Taylor Edwards dropped the ball on the slide by Cordes to give the Rebellion a 4-2 final score.
The Bandits hosted a player’s only meeting in centerfield to discuss this tough loss.
“Just stay within ourselves,” Hernandez said of the postgame discussion. “We know that stuff comes up and we should have finished that game stronger. But we have a couple more days until the playoffs and we need to start preparing for the championship game.”
Tickets for tomorrow night's game and all remaining games for the 2015 season are on sale now at www.chicagobandits.com or by calling 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.