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Chicago Bandits Series Preview No. 4 - Akron Racers

Jill Barrett Photo by Dina Kwit Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch

 

ROSEMONT, IL (June 16, 2016) – Following a five-game road trip, the Bandits (7-4) will make their return to The Ballpark at Rosemont for a quick three-game series against the Akron Racers (5-4), beginning Friday at 7:35 p.m.
 
The three games against Akron will complete a stretch of five straight against the Racers, with the first two contests having been played at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio.
 
The Bandits offensive attack has received a boost in the past week, following the respective returns of Brittany Cervantes and Taylor Edwards from their seasons overseas in Japan. Cervantes went 7-for-17 with four RBI over her first five games back in the Bandits lineup and is 9-for-27 overall with two home runs, while Edwards continued her power surge from the 2015 season, in which she was named to the All-NPF Team. The third-year catcher has belted three home runs and driven in eight runs since her addition to the lineup, including two go-ahead blasts to help the Bandits earn wins against the Rebellion and Racers.
 
Akron got off to a hot start in 2016, winning five of their first seven games prior to being swept by the Bandits earlier this week. The Racers won their first four home games of the season, but split their lone road series this season against the Pennsylvania Rebellion.
 
After a three-game sweep over the Scrap Yard Dawgs to open up their 2016 home campaign, the Bandits dropped their last series at The Ballpark at Rosemont against the Dallas Charge.
 
In 2015, the Bandits compiled a 4-2 mark at home against the Racers.
 
Game schedule and probable pitching matchups
Friday, June 17, 2016 – 7:35 p.m. CST
• AKR: Sarah Pauly (0-0) vs. CHI: Lacey Waldrop (3-0)
 
Saturday, June 18, 2016 – 7:35 p.m. CST
• AKR: Aimee Creger (2-1) vs. CHI: Michelle Gascoigne (1-2)
 
Sunday, June 19, 2016 – 3:05 p.m. CST
• AKR: Jailyn Ford (2-2) vs. CHI: Sara Moulton (1-0)

Players to watch
Jill Barrett continues to hit at a torrid pace for the Bandits in her first year in Chicago, following an offseason trade from Akron. The two-time All-NPF shortstop leads the team (among full-time starters) in batting average with a .450 clip and has been a steady force near the top of the lineup early on this season.
 
In the circle, Lacey Waldrop, now in her second year in NPF, has been getting the job done. She has collected wins in each of her first three starts, including two complete game efforts, while also picking up her second career save Tuesday night in Akron.
 
For the Racers, rookie shortstop Sami Fagan has burst onto the scene in 2016. Drafted fourth overall out of Missouri in this past year’s NPF Draft, Fagan has hit .409 through her first seven games, including one home run and five RBI. She currently ranks in the top three on the team in batting average, on-base percentage and hits.
 
Jailyn Ford will look to rebound for the Racers after she took a tough loss against the Bandits Wednesday night. Ford had surrendered just one run on two hits through five innings before a Taylor Edwards two-run home run in the sixth powered the Bandits to a series sweep. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 NPF Draft has been impressive in her rookie season in the circle, compiling a 2-2 mark while leading the Racers in innings pitched (21.0), strikeouts (17) and opponent batting average (.244). Ford has also collected one save in her six appearances thus far.
 
Promotional schedule
June 17 – Fellowship Night
• Cinch Pack giveaway, courtesy of Rawlings Softball
• Kids run the bases (following the conclusion of the game)
• Partial team autograph session (KIDS ONLY)
         • Players include Brittany Cervantes, Taylor Edwards, Tatum Edwards, Sammy Marshall, Natalie Hernandez, Emily Allard, Michelle Gascoigne, Kristen Brown, Allie Bauch, Shelby Turnier, Alaynie Page, Kellsi Kloss*
• Pregame concourse photo, sponsored by NCSA
         • Michelle Gascoigne and Kristen Brown (available 6:15 – 6:30 p.m.)
         • Pregame fellowship speech by Lacey Waldrop
 
June 18 – 2015 Cowles Cup Championship Ring Ceremony & Banner Raising
• Championship poster giveaway to first 300 fans
• Ring and banner raising scheduled to begin at 7:20 p.m.
• Partial team autograph session (KIDS ONLY)
         • Players include Brittany Cervantes, Taylor Edwards, Danielle Zymkowitz, Sara Moulton, Lacey Waldrop, Jill Barrett, Megan Blank, Brenna Moss, Andrea Filler, Kristen Brown, Alaynie Page, Morgan Foley, Emily Carosone *
         • Pregame concourse photo, sponsored by NCSA
         • Kellsi Kloss and Andrea Filler (available 6:15 – 6:30 p.m.)
 
June 19, 2016 – Father’s Day @ The Bandits
• Full-team autograph session (KIDS ONLY)
• Pregame concourse photo, sponsored by NCSA
         • Brittany Cervantes and Danielle Zymkowitz (available 2:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
 
* players subject to change
 
Tickets
Single and group tickets for the 2016 Bandits season are available now by calling the office at 877-722-6348 or by visiting www.chicagobandits.com. Tickets start at just $7.25 each.
 
Tickets are also now available for the brand new MB Financial Club at The Ballpark. The MB Financial Club is the only section in the stadium, other than the party deck, where groups can preorder food for their group. The section is located next to the press box and is available for groups of 12-20 people.
 
For more information on the Bandits, please contact the team at 877-722-6348 or visit them on the web at www.chicagobandits.com.

About the Akron Racers:
The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, OH, are the oldest existing team in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league, celebrating their 15th Season of Play in 2016.  The Racers competed in the Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL) for two seasons in 1999 and 2000 and in the NPF since 2004.  Historic Firestone Stadium is home to the Racers and numerous amateur events at all levels of play.

About the Chicago Bandits:
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, Emily Allard and Tammy Williams. The three-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 2016 season will be the Bandits' 12th season in the NPF.

Note to Media
Photos and b-roll of players is available.  Interviews with the league commissioner are welcomed, and top players from each team are accessible immediately.  If you’re interested in pursuing story angles about professional softball for women, please don’t hesitate to contact us.