Haylie Wagner (Chicago Bandits) Photo by: Dina Kwit courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
Rosemont, Ill. (June 16, 2017) – The Bandits began the day by receiving their 2016 championship rings. The Texas Charge, including former Bandit assistant coach Roman Foore and infielder Amanda Kamekona, watched on as the Bandits celebrated the franchise’s fourth Cowles Cup in team history.
But as the Bandits put away their rings, the Charge gripped its bats tighter.
Texas had offensive aplenty in the early going, tagging Bandits’ rookie starter Sierra Hyland for five runs in the opening frame. Four of those runs came from a towering grand slam off the bat of Mysha Sataraka, her second home run of the season.
Hyland lasted just 1.1 innings in the circle before handing the reigns over to Haylie Wagner. The third-year southpaw managed to stifle the Charge’s bats by tossing 5.2 innings of one-hit ball.
“Pitchers all have each other’s backs and that was Sierra’s first outing and sometimes that happens,” Wagner said of Hyland’s debut struggles. “Being able to come in and be there for her and have that presence on the field and in the circle is a big thing to (try and) help turn the bats around.”
Texas’ Brittany Mack-Oakes replaced starter pitcher Lauren Haeger early in the first frame due to an injury after a sharp ground ball off the bat of Emily Carosone glanced off her throwing hand. Mack-Oakes, marking her return to the NPF after three years of retirement, led the way for Texas.
Wagner and Mack-Oakes delivered impressive efforts in the circle, limiting the offensive attack of each side, respectively. Wagner surrendered just one hit and zero runs while striking out four to keep the Bandits within striking distance. Mack-Oakes, who earned her first win of the season, allowed two hits in 6.2 innings of work as the Bandits could not muster a comeback.
Despite the loss, Bandits head coach Sharonda McDonald remained confident in her group.
“They’re tough and they’re proud and they’re Bandits,” McDonald said. “It’s their culture and they’re proud of it, so I expect that from them and they expect it from themselves.”
With the loss, the Bandits fall to 7-5 on the season ahead of a Sunday day-night doubleheader against the Beijing Shougang Eagles at The Ballpark at Rosemont. First pitch in game one is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. CST and will be broadcast on NPF TV. The tentative date for the nightcap is 7:05 p.m.
For more information about the Chicago Bandits or to purchase tickets to any remaining home game during the 2017 regular season, please visit chicagobandits.com or call the box office at 877-722-6348.
Time of Game: 1 hour, 52 minutes
Vaultz® Lock it Up!® Player of the Game: Brittany Mack-Oakes (TEX) – W, 1-0, 6.2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 4 K, 0 BB)
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.
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.