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2017 NPF

Championship Series

August 17-20

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Bandits Sweep Heat

Tucson, Ariz.-- Jennie Finch was in the circle again for the Bandits, and much like Thursday night, the Heat could not get a run across the plate. Finch’s second complete game shutout of the series, combined with a two-run home run by Jaime Clark pushed the Bandits over the Heat, 2-0.

Erica Beach threw an excellent game for the Heat, with her only mistake coming on the homerun by Clark, her third in as many games. Beach went the distance for the Heat, allowing six hits, two walks and striking out five on only 75 pitches. The outing was her sixth complete game of the season. Finch once again silenced the Heat bats, allowing only two hits, while walking three and striking out seven. She did not allow a run all series pitching 14 innings and allowing only five hits.

Beach retired the Bandits in order in the top of the first inning, while Finch had a little trouble in her half. After retiring the leadoff hitter, Finch walked Jessica Mendoza and two batters later walked Stacey Nuveman to put two runners on.

Finch then hit Tara Knudsen on the arm to load the bases. Knudsen stayed in to run, but was forced to leave the game after the inning, being replaced by Phelan Wright.

With the bases loaded, Finch got Jackie Coburn on a called third strike to get out of the inning without any damage. The second ended in similar fashion, with the Heat leaving runners on second and third.

Both pitchers cruised through the third, but the Bandits got going in the fourth. Beach retired the first two batters of the inning before Finch doubled off the wall to extend the inning. Jaime Clark followed with a home run to dead center field putting the Bandits up, 2-0. The home run was Clark’s third of the series, accounting for all of her hits on the weekend.

In the bottom of the inning, Lovie Jung doubled off Finch but was unable to score. Jung would be the last threat of the night for the Heat. Only one batter was able to reach base over the next three innings, as Finch settled into a grove. Beach did not allow a run over the next three innings, but the damage was already done.

Clark was once again the offensive star for the Bandits, driving in their only two runs of the game. Selena Collins added two hits, with Megan Ciolli, Vicky Galindo and Finch adding one a piece.

Lovie Jung and Ladonia Hughes had the only two hits for the Heat. Jessica Mendoza and Jackie Coburn both had their eight game hitting streaks snapped.

With the win, Finch improved to 6-0, while allowing only two earned runs in her 37 innings of work. The Bandits have now won 10 in a row, and improved to 14-2 on the season. Beach took the loss and fell to 3-5 on the season, with the Heat falling to 10-9.

The Bandits return home for a four game series against the Stratford Brakettes, which will pit Team USA pitchers against each other. Jennie Finch will toe the rubber for Chicago, while Texas Longhorn star Cat Osterman will be in the circle for Stratford. The series will kick off on Thursday night at 7:05 PM.