Megan Blank (Chicago Bandits) Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
ROSEMONT, Ill. (July 1, 2017)– The Bandits celebrated Canada Day by capping of their series against the Canadian National Team with a pair of five-inning wins on Saturday night at The Ballpark at Rosemont. Both games were recorded as exhibition contests.
Sierra Hyland took the ball in the opening game for the Bandits, her second career start as a professional.
After allowing an early run on a hit by pitch, sacrifice bunt and a pair of wild pitches, Hyland settled in for a solid outing in the circle. She lasted the complete five-inning affair, allowing just the lone run on four hits.
Meanwhile, Canadian starter Sara Plourde held the Bandits in check across three innings of work. The Bandits had runners on base in each of the three innings, but could not take advantage against the third-year right-hander, also on roster with the Scrap Yard Dawgs of the NPF.
However, Bandits’ rookie Sahvanna Jaquish managed to get the bats going in the bottom of the fourth with a one-out double to the left-center gap. Megan Blank followed with a softly hit double that fell in a soft spot along the third base line.
Chelsea Forkin put the Bandits on the board with an RBI-single up the middle, scoring Jaquish. Taylah Tsitsikronis later ripped a liner to third that was too hot to handle, allowing Blank to race home with the eventual game-winning run.
The Bandits tacked on another run in the fourth thanks to an RBI-fielder’s choice groundout from Danielle Zymkowitz.
Hyland finished the game strong to complete the win. It marked a nice bounce back performance for the first-year right-hander from Cal Poly after she surrendered five runs on four hits in 3.1 innings in her debut.
Time of game: 1 hour, 16 minutes
Vaultz® Lock It Up!® Player of the Game: Megan Blank (2-for-2, 2B, GW-R)
The Bandits made quick work of the Canadian National Team in the nightcap of the Saturday doubleheader. Starter Shelby Turnier managed to maneuver out of numerous jams in the circle and the offense scored at least one run in each of the first three innings to put the game out of reach early on.
Team Canada had runners on second and third with one out to open the game, but Turnier dialed up back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning and escape unscathed.
That was a trend throughout the contest, as Chicago’s second-year right-hander wiggled out of trouble on cue. She finished with a complete game shutout, allowing seven hits and adding three strikeouts.
In the bottom of the first, Chicago placed runners two runners in scoring position with nobody out. Natatlie Hernandez’s sacrifice fly to center opened up the scoring later in the frame.
Wasting no time, the Bandits followed their early run with a crooked number in the second inning, highlighted by Emily Crane’s bases-clearing triple to the right field wall. Crane’s three RBI were a part of a five-run frame for the Bandits.
The Bandits tacked on a seventh run in the third when Alexa Peterson deposited a solo home run into the party deck behind the left field fence. Peterson finished a spotless 2-for-2 in the contest with the home run and two runs scored and earned Vaultz® Lock It Up!® Player of the Game honors.
“They played well,” Bandits head coach Sharonda McDonald said. “We hit the ball well and pitched well. We’re loose and we look good.”
The Bandits are back in action on Monday night as they host the Akron Racers in a two-game home series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CST at The Ballpark at Rosemont. The game will be broadcast on NPF TV.
Follow along with the Bandits on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for live score updates throughout the season.
For more information about the Chicago Bandits or to purchase tickets to any home game during the remainder of the 2017 regular season, please visit chicagobandits.com or call the box office at 877-722-6348.
Time of game: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Vaultz® Lock It Up!® Player of the Game: Alexa Peterson (2-for-2, HR, 2 R)
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.