Sahvanna Jaquish Homerun (Chicago Bandits) Photo by Dina Kwit Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
ROSEMONT, Ill (July 25, 2017) – With Monica Abbott in the circle for the Scrap Yard Dawgs, the Bandits went down on three strikeouts in the bottom half of the first. Unfortunately, for Chicago, it became a common theme throughout Tuesday’s series opener at The Ballpark at Rosemont.
Abbott had plenty of support to work behind as the Dawgs struck for eight runs in the first three innings. Former Bandit Taylor Edwards, who helped the team capture Cowles Cup titles in 2015 and 2016, haunted her former club at the plate. An RBI-double in the first inning put the Dawgs ahead and Edwards later added a three-run home run to extend the lead to 7-0 at the time.
Edwards received her 2016 championship ring prior to the day game, as did former Bandits Brittany Cervantes, Morgan Foley and coach Mike Steuerwald, now the assistant general manager for the Dawgs.
Chicago starter Danielle O’Toole, who tossed five shutout innings against Scrap Yard in her NPF debut on July 16, did not have the same success in her first start in Rosemont. The southpaw from Arizona surrendered five runs (four earned) in 1.1 innings of work.
Ellen Sara Roberts struggled in a relief effort as well as the Dawgs tagged her for a trio of runs in 1.1 innings.
Rookie right-hander Sierra Hyland stopped the bleeding for Chicago and delivered four shutout frames, allowing the Bandits to creep back into the ballgame. A solo home run from Sahvanna Jaquish, her third of the season, put the Bandits on the board in the fourth and a an RBI-single off the bat of Stacy May-Johnson brought in a second run. Two more came across to score via a wild pitch.
However, the comeback fell short, as Abbott earned a complete game despite allowing the four runs (three earned). The electric southpaw registered 15 strikeouts in the contest.
ROSEMONT, Ill. (July 25, 2017) – Little went right for the Bandits in the back half of the doubleheader, as well. The Dawgs offense proved too much for Chicago en route to a 9-0 win, claiming the series in the process.
“We didn’t play very good at all, really on any phase,” Bandits head coach Sharonda McDonald said. “I’m just telling our team we have to be better on all phases of the ball. We have got to be better, bottom line.”
Chicago’s pitchers couldn’t maneuver around a powerful Dawgs lineup, namely rookie Hannah Flippen, who collected a 3-for-3 afternoon with a solo home run and three runs scored.
Shelby Turnier, who started in the circle for the Bandits delivered a scoreless first frame, but allowed the home run to Flippen and two more tallies in the third as the Dawgs’ lead grew. Haylie Wagner didn’t have much more luck in a relief effort, allowing four runs in 0.2 innings.
O’Toole later returned for her second appearance of the day and surrendered two runs in 3.2 frames.
“Obviously we didn’t have the day we wanted to,” O’Toole said. “Now it’s behind us and you’ve got to look forward.”
O’Toole faced a number of Team USA teammates on Tuesday, including Flippen, Ali Aguilar, Kasey Cooper and Morgan Zerkle. The rookie southpaw also pitched against former Arizona teammate Katiyana Mauga.
“It’s different,” O’Toole said. “Teammates have become really close friends.”
The Bandits will look to get on the right track tomorrow night in the series finale against the Dawgs. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. CST. Scrap Yard currently holds a 6-1 edge in the 2017 season series between the two teams.
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.