Natalie Hernandez Photo by Dina Kwit Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
ROSEMONT, IL (June 18, 2016) – The Bandits scored three or more runs in three different innings to help give Chicago a 10-3 win over the Racers at The Ballpark at Rosemont on Saturday night.
Bandits starting pitcher Michelle Gascoigne delivered her fourth complete game in as many starts in the victory and is now 2-2 on the young season.
The Racers (6-5) opened the scoring with a run in the first, but the Bandits (8-5) responded quickly with a three-run home run from left fielder Natalie Hernandez (2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI). The blast, which clanked off the left field foul pole, was Hernandez’s third of the season, placing her in a tie with Taylor Edwards for the team lead.
“I was just focused on seeing the ball and making sure I got my hands out in front,” Hernandez said.
Akron answered back in the fourth with a two-RBI single from second baseman Ashley Thomas. Gascoigne had retired eight straight batters until third baseman Kelley Montalvo singled in the second at bat of the inning.
Yet again, the Bandits answered back in their half of the inning. Catcher Taylor Edwards (1-for-2, 2 R, 2 RBI) scored on a passed ball and with two outs and the bases loaded, third baseman Emily Carosone (2-for-3, R, 2 RBI) roped a single to right field to drive in two runs.
Hernandez said the resilience of the team comes with the Bandits name.
“We need to make sure that we’re fighters and we’re going to go all out no matter what,” she said. “Especially when people score, we’re going to fight back.”
Carosone is now 3-for-6 with one run and five RBIs in her first two games with the Bandits.
The 6-3 lead would have been more than enough for Gascoigne – who allowed only two hits while striking out three through the last three innings – but the Bandits added four more runs in the fifth.
Three walks loaded the bases for shortstop Jill Barrett and an error by the Racers’ second baseman allowed one run to score. Edwards, continuing her torrid pace at the plate, followed with a two-RBI single. Another Racers error allowed a fourth run to cross the plate in the inning.
Not only did Gascoigne’s strong pitching help the Bandits in the final innings, highlight reel grabs by Barrett and center fielder Sammy Marshall bookended the final outs of the seventh inning.
The Bandits and Racers play the rubber match Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. at The Ballpark at Rosemont.
Tickets for Sunday’s game all remaining home games during the 2016 season are on sale now. Visit www.chicagobandits.com or call the box office at 877-722-6348 to order.
Gosling's Rum Recap Notes
• Tonight’s attendance was a season-high crowd of 1,472.
• Tonight’s win was home win No. 200 in the history of the franchise.
• Taylor Edwards extended her hit streak to six games and is 8-for-16 in that stretch.
• Danielle Zymkowitz extended her hit streak to seven games.
• Emily Allard did not play after leaving Tuesday’s win against the Racers with an injury.
• Next Bandits Game: Sunday, June 18, 2016 vs. Akron Racers at 3:00 p.m. CST at The Ballpark at Rosemont.
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.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF):
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series. The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.
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.