ROSEMONT, IL (June 7, 2017) – The Bandits improved to 4-1 on Wednesday night after an impressive shutout victory over the Beijing Shougang Eagles. All three phases of the game came together for Chicago, highlighted by Sammy Marshall’s three-hit effort and Shelby Turnier’s five shutout innings.
The Bandits wasted no time putting runs on the board, scoring three in the first inning against Beijing starter Li Qui. Marshall led off with an inside-the-park home run, the first homer of her professional career, down the right field line to get the momentum going in the Bandits’ favor. After her line drive bounced past the Beijing right fielder, Marshall turned on the jets and put her speed on display as she hustled around the bases and crossed home plate standing for the first run of the game.
“Those [inside-the-park home runs] are actually more common for me than out-of-the-park home runs,” Marshall said. “I hit one every year in college so I had four in college and one in high school.”
Marshall’s last out-of-the-park home run came in her junior year at Western Illinois in 2014.
“I knew I hit it pretty good (sic) and that it was going to be a tough play,” Marshall said.
When the ball got past the Beijing right fielder, she knew she had a chance.
“At that point, I just put my head down and started running,” Marshall said. “I knew I would get at least a triple, but then when (third base coach Kyla Holas) waved her arms around I knew I had a chance.”
Stacy May-Johnson added a two-run single later in the frame, plating Abby Ramirez and Natalie Hernandez, to give the Bandits an early 3-0 advantage.
Marshall again served as the catalyst for the offense when she stepped to the plate in the second, smoking a triple into the left-center gap and scoring on an Abby Ramirez RBI-groundout to make it 4-0 in favor of the Bandits.
In the circle, despite a shaky opening frame, Shelby Turnier managed to settle in for her first win of the 2017 season.
Shelby Turnier worked five scoreless innings to earn her first win of the season. Photo credit: Dina Kwit, courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch.
“I think in that first inning, I was kind of just feeling out the hitters,” Turnier said. “Their lineup completely changed from yesterday. I think only the first hitter was the same, so I had to make adjustments in the middle of that inning.”
From the second inning on, Turnier was in control, setting down the Eagles in order in three consecutive frames. She departed after the fifth having surrendered no runs on two hits while recording four strikeouts.
Chicago tacked on a fifth run in the bottom of the fourth on a Marshall RBI-single through the right side of the infield that scored Megan Blank. Marshall finished the night 3-for-4 while falling just a double short of the cycle.
Recent signee Breanna Wonderly got the ball in the sixth and seventh and closed out the game. The former Illinois standout right-hander held Beijing to just one hit through the final two innings to secure a 7-0 win for the Bandits.
The next game for the Bandits is Thursday night at The Ballpark at Rosemont. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT/8:05 pm ET and the game will be broadcast on NPF TV.
Time of game: 1 hour, 43 minutes
Vaultz® Lock it Up!® Player of the Game: Sammy Marshall (3-for-4, HR, 3B, 2 RBI)
About Chicago Bandits Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch league. Entering their 13th season as a franchise, the Bandits have provided the Chicago area with high-level softball talent and entertainment en route to capturing six regular season titles and four Cowles Cup championships, the most recent coming during the 2016 campaign. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, one of the premier softball facilities in the nation. The Ballpark at Rosemont is the only stadium in the country built exclusively for a women’s professional softball team. The Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch softball players to further their careers at the professional level and has included legendary figures such as Jennie Finch, Monica Abbott and Tammy Williams.
About National Pro Fastpitch 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 NPF affiliate teams consist of the Akron Racers, Beijing Shougang, Chicago Bandits, Scrap Yard Dawgs, Texas Charge and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2017 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada and China among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.