ROSEMONT, IL (June 9 ,2017). – After rookie backstop Sahvanna Jaquish, in her first professional game, threw out a Beijing Shougang Eagles baserunner trying to steal third, veteran third baseman Stacy May-Johnson pointed back to Jaquish as if to say, ‘nice job, kid.’
“It’s calming when they [Bandits veterans] know that you’re nervous and when they know what to do to calm you down when you make a good play like that,” Jaquish said. “It’s like we’re speaking the same language.”
Sahvanna Jaquish’s first career at-bat was only one chapter in a night of firsts for the Bandits. Photo credit: Andrew Rosenthal, courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch.
Jaquish’s appearance behind the plate was just one of several firsts during Friday’s 13-3 win at The Ballpark at Rosemont. Rookie pitcher Breanna Wonderly made her first professional start in the circle and Australian second baseman Stacey McManus recorded her first career hit and home run in the contest.
The Bandits jumped all over Beijing starter Lan Wang early, scoring in the first inning for the third straight game. Shortstop Abby Ramirez and right fielder Emily Crane both smashed triples in the frame and designated player Emily Carosone blasted a two-run opposite-field shot into the left field party deck to put the Bandits on top 3-0 early. It was just the start of a mammoth night for Carosone, who finished with four hits and five RBI.
Wonderly, who signed with the Bandits as an undrafted free agent earlier in the week, got the nod for Chicago after last night’s relief appearance marked her NPF debut. Things did not go as planned for the right-hander, however, as her outing lasted just 1.2 innings, spoiled in part by defensive miscues. Wonderly allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits, but did hurl 23 of her 28 pitches for strikes.
The Bandits committed two errors in the top of the second inning behind Wonderly, putting a blemish into the team’s .994 fielding percentage entering the game.
“[Wonderly’s] ground balls are hit a little harder than some of the other ones, and they just need to read that,” assistant coach Kyla Holas said.
The offense added four runs in the second and three more in the third to put the Bandits up big, 10-3. Stacey McManus, a rookie from Australia, hit her first career home run in the bottom of the third, a two-run bomb just inside the left field foul pole.
“I’m so happy for her,” Holas said. “I was really excited for her to get that chance out there and shine like she did. You can’t write a script better than that.”
The offensive onslaught continued for the Bandits in the fifth as they piled on three more. The 13-3 score would hold for the rest of the game. Center fielder Sammy Marshall finished 3-for-3 hitting in the leadoff spot, and Abby Ramirez and Stacy May-Johnson each added two hits in the winning effort.
A trio of Bandits pitchers logged innings in relief of Wonderly, led by southpaw Haylie Wagner tossing 2.1 frames of no-hit ball, helping her earn win No. 5 of the season.
The win secured a series sweep of Beijing, putting the Bandits at an impressive 6-1 mark ahead of the team’s first road matchup of the season. The next game, the first of a three-game set against the USSSA Pride, is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. ET on Sunday at JoAnne Graf Field, home of Florida State University. The game will be broadcast on NPF TV.
Time of game: 2 hours, 1 minute
Vaultz® Lock it Up! ® Player of the Game: Emily Carosone (CB) (4-for-4, HR, 5 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 (NPF) National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2004, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Akron Racers, Beijing Shougang Eagles, 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.