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2017 NPF

Championship Series

August 17-20

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Bandits Take Another From Heat

Tucson, Ariz.-- Much like Saturday night’s game, the Arizona Heat found themselves trailing early to the Chicago Bandits, and in similar fashion, the Heat mounted a comeback that fell just short, falling to the Bandits again by one run, this time by a score of 6-5.

The Saturday outcome marked the third one-run game of the series, with the Bandits coming out victorious in all three.

Lindsay Chouinard started for the Bandits, and held the Heat down until the bottom of the sixth when she surrendered a three-run home run to Tara Knudsen. Lauren Bay relieved Chouinard, and retired the last six batters of the game to pick up her first save.

Jennifer Spediacci started the game for the Heat, but did not fair as well as the previous night, allowing six runs in her four innings of work. Erica Beach pitched the last three innings of the game allowing only one runner and keeping the Heat in the game.

The Bandits did not waste any time scoring, plating a run in the top of the first. Liz Bouck laid down a bunt single and advanced to second on a throwing error to put her in scoring position. Two batters later, Jennie Finch singled off the left field wall, scoring Bouck, and the Bandits were up 1-0. Bandits’ starter Lindsay Chouinard escaped without allowing a run in the first when Nichole Thompson was gunned down at the plate after a Jessica Mendoza single.

In the top of the third, the Bandits were back at it. With one out, Bouck singled and reached second on a throwing error. Finch followed with a walk, before Jaime Clark hit her second homerun in as many days to put the Bandits up, 4-0. The Heat came right back in the bottom of the inning, scoring two runs. Jackie Coburn singled up the middle and was followed by a single off the bat of Nichole Thompson. Mendoza singled home Coburn, and the Heat got on the board. Tairia Flowers followed with a single that scored Thompson, but that would be all the Heat could manage in the inning.

The Bandits got both runs back in the top of the fourth, with one run coming off a sacrifice fly by Vicky Galindo. The Bandits stretched the lead to 6-2 when Venus Taylor’s ground ball hit off Knudsen's glove, plating Megan Ciolli. The score remained 6-2 until the bottom of the sixth inning, when the Heat made their move.

Stacey Nuveman and Toni Mascarenas led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Tara Knudsen stepped in and brought the game back within reach with a monster shot to left center cutting the lead to 6-5. Leading by only one run, the Bandits brought in last night’s starter Bay to close out the game. Bay retired all six Heat batters she faced, striking out three, and picking up her first save of the season.

Clark was the offensive star for the Bandits, with her three-run homer in the third. Bouck added two hits and two runs and Finch drove in her second run of the series for the Bandits. Knudsen was the star for the Heat, with Mendoza, Nuveman and Thompson adding two hits apiece.

The Heat had been 10-0 when out hitting their opponents coming into the game.

The Heat and Bandits will play the final game of the series tomorrow night
at 7:30 pm at Hi Corbett Field.