After a one-hour rain delay, Danielle Zymkowitz delivered a walk-off single to send the Bandits to a two-game sweep over the Pride. (Photo credit: Dina Kwit, courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch)
ROSEMONT, Ill. (July 23, 2017) – In dramatic fashion, the Bandits earned a two-game sweep against the USSSA Pride, topping their opponents 2-1 on a walk-off single from Danielle Zymkowitz on Sunday afternoon at The Ballpark at Rosemont.
USSSA entered the series finale a perfect 24-0 when leading or tied after six innings of play.
After falling behind on a leadoff home run from by USSSA’s Megan Wiggins, Bandits starter Kaia Parnaby settled in and delivered a complete game performance in her second start of the season.
Paired with an earlier loss by the Akron Racers against the Scrap Yard Dawgs, the Bandits marched into the third seed with the narrow win over the Pride.
A rain delay that lasted one hour, six minutes interrupted the game after heads-up base running from Brenna Moss allowed the Bandits to take advantage when the Pride failed to get the ball in quickly enough on a fly ball from Natalie Hernandez in the sixth inning.
The Bandits stormed out of the rain delay raring for a walk-off winner as Emily Crane collected a bunt single and moved up to immediately moved into scoring position on Megan Blank’s double down the right field line. Pinch-hitting for Kristen Brown, Zymkowitz later laced a single up the middle to bring home the winning run.
“It felt good to do whatever my team needed me to do today,” Zymkowitz said. “You know, just show up every single day and just try to do whatever you can to help the team win. That’s what I tried to do today.”
Jordan Taylor (L, 1-1) suffered her first loss in the circle since the 2014 season after allowing the game-tying and winning runs to cross the plate.
“Jordan Taylor’s a great pitcher and it was awesome to just string something together in the seventh against such a great pitcher like that,” Zymkowitz said.
Meanwhile, her counterpart, Parnaby, earned her first victory as a professional after joining the Bandits in Florida following her appearance with the Australian National Team at the World Cup of Softball. After USSSA’s Megan Wiggins took her deep on the second pitch of the game, Parnaby allowed just two more hits in the contest.
“It felt amazing [to win today],” Parnaby said. “I’ve played with or against all those girls at some stage of my career, so to be able get one back on them, they got one up on me the other night, so to get it back, it was incredible.”
In her NPF debut, Parnaby was tagged with the loss in a 3-0 road defeat for Chicago against the Pride.
Aiming to continue their two-game win streak, the Bandits will be back in action on Tuesday for a doubleheader against the Scrap Yard Dawgs at The Ballpark at Rosemont. First pitch in the opener is scheduled for 11:05 a.m., with the second game taking place approximately one half-hour following the conclusion.
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.