Brittany Cervantes Photo By Dina Kwit Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
ROSEMONT, Ill.- August 3, 2015 - With the Bandits down 2-0 in their fourth series against the Rebellion, Chicago turned to their ace Monica Abbott (W, 12-1) who was nearly perfect to avert a sweep in the first game of a doubleheader on Monday.
After yesterday’s game was postponed due to severe weather the Bandits faced the Rebellion in an early 10 a.m. makeup game. Coach Mike Steuerwald sent out the same lineup he planned for Sunday with Abbott in the circle. The Rebellion started Haylie Wagner at pitcher. Wagner (L 3-4) lasted only four innings with three runs on four hits.
“Our mindset today was to win against PA,” catcher Taylor Edwards (1-1, 2B) said. “We had to win that; we don’t want to be swept, especially at our home field. At least get one of the three [games] that was what we wanted to do.”
Abbott strung together four straight strikeouts through the first two innings and added five straight in the fifth and sixth with 12 total strikeouts in a complete game no-hitter.
“She just stayed in her zone, did what she did on the mound and she put up zeroes,” Edwards said. “Nothing more you could ask for, she pitched great today.”
In the bottom of the seventh, Abbott’s pursuit of her second perfect game of the season ended on a defensive error in the outfield.
Brittany Cervantes (2-2, HR, 1B, 3 RBI) got things started early for the Bandits with a solo shot to the bleachers in right field to give her team a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
“It’s huge for her to come out there and just get on the board first at-bat,” Edwards said of the early offense. “It sets the tone for our team and also picks us up collectively and just makes it that much easier for our pitchers.”
Chicago continued to threaten and added to their lead in the bottom of the second as Tammy Williams drew a leadoff walk, while Emily Allard (1-3) singled to put two on for Kailee Cuico. Her sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, while Cervantes brought them home after squeezing a single past Sarah Prezioso at second to make it a 3-0 game.
Emma Johnson and Allyson Fournier pitched three innings of one hit softball in relief to end the game for the Rebellion.
The Bandits will look to pull off the second win of their doubleheader against the Racers this afternoon.
“Akron is always a great competitor,” Edwards said. “They always come to fight. This win and take the momentum into game two at 2 [p.m.] that’s what we need to do. We need to keep fighting and staying on top.”
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.