Photo by Marina Mantas, courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
ROSEMONT, Ill.(August 11,2017) – The USSSA Pride erased a five-run deficit in the seventh inning and shocked the Bandits in the series opener on Friday night at The Ballpark at Rosemont. Ignited by a three-run triple off the bat of Megan Wiggins, USSSA scored all of its seven runs on six hits and three errors. The Bandits could not stop the bleeding and fell by a 7-5 final score.
The seven-run seventh negated a brilliant start from Shelby Turnier, who worked through the first six frames without allowing a run. A second-year right-hander from Central Florida, Turnier struck out six batters through the opening three innings before being tagged for three runs in the seventh.
“We played really bad (sic) in that seventh inning,” Bandits head coach Sharonda McDonald said. “We have to figure out a way to finish it when we have an opportunity.”
Chicago (25-22) jumped out to an early advantage when Emily Crane delivered a single up the middle to plate the game’s first run. The former Missouri standout later made a highlight reel catch up against the right field fence, robbing USSSA’s Andrea Duran of an extra-base hit.
Natalie Hernandez, who collected a career-high four hits on the night, added to Chicago’s lead in the third with an RBI-double down the right field line. She followed it up with a softly-hit, two-RBI single to center in the sixth.
At the time, Hernandez’s base knock appeared to give the Bandits a comfortable 5-0 lead. However, a seventh inning unraveling against the league-leading Pride (38-9) proved to be the difference.
“I was just taking it one pitch at a time,” Hernandez said. “Trying to simplify and go back to the basics of hitting.”
In a relief effort, Sierra Hyland was tagged with the loss, falling to 1-2 on the season.
The Bandits will look to get back on track in game two of the series against the Pride on Saturday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. CST at The Ballpark at Rosemont. The game will be broadcast on NPF TV.
“We’ll get back at it tomorrow,” McDonald said. “Get some momentum going into the playoffs.”
Follow along with the Bandits on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for live score updates throughout the season.
For more information about the Chicago Bandits or to purchase tickets to any game during the final home stand of the 2017 season, please visit chicagobandits.com or call the box office at 877-722-6348.
Time of game: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Vaultz® Lock It Up!® Player of the Game: Megan Wiggins (USSSA) – 3-for-4, 3B, 3 RBI
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.