Lisle, Ill.-- On the Fourth of July weekend, the Chicago Bandits provided enough fireworks on the field for spectators as they combined for fourteen hits against the Stratford Brakettes for the win, 8-4. Two pitchers took to the mond for the Bandits on Sunday, Jennie Finch starting and Lauren Bay closing, both showing talent in the circle and at the plate.
Vicky Galindo started things off right for the Bandits as she led off the inning with a double off Stratford pitcher Kaci Clark.
Designated player Liz Bouck completed her task by sacrificing herself to advance Galindo to third base.
Up next, Jaime Clark dove safely head first into second to earn her a double while bringing Galindo home for the first run of the game.
Bandit catcher Selena Collins came to the plate to drive the ball to centerfield for an out, but walked away with an RBI as Clark scored from third.
In response to the damage the Bandits created in the first inning, the Brakettes immediately came back to take the lead. Callie Piper initiated the action for Stratford with a single, ending the chance for Jennie Finch to pitch two no-hitters in a row.
On the next play Piper was thrown out at second when Killian Roessner hit to right fielder Venus Taylor who after a diving attempt to catch the pop up, fired to second to record the force.
However, the momentum continued on through the order. Erica Sobel and Jill Cimminello provide the Brakettes with back-to-back singles to load the bases.
Lead off hitter Lovena Chaput took advantage of the situation with all bases covered by hitting a critical double to move the Brakettes ahead in the game, 3-2.
In the bottom of the third, Jaime Clarkdrove a ball to the warning track, but was caught against the fence by Brakette Linda Secka. Next in the order, Finch hits a ball that looks nearly identical, only this ball had just enough power to clear the fence and fly into the centerfield bleachers. The shot was her fifth home run of the season, knotting the score even at 3-3.
The score still tied in the bottom of the fourth, Chicago left fielder Laura Harms kept the rhythm going, launching a ball off the left field wall for a stand-up double.
Anne Steffan beat out an infield single to put runners on first and third. With the top of the order now up for the home team, Harms and Steffan raced around the bases as Galindo rocketed a double. Both base runners scored, but Galindo was not as fortunate. Assuming the Brakettes would try to prevent the second run at the plate, the former Cal star raced for third, but the ball was cut, putting Galindo into a pickle which eventually got her tagged out.
With the bases clear, Clark started another round of action by earning a walk. She was followed by a single off the bat of Finch, which moved Clark to third.
The USA National teammates joined forces for a run-scoring double steal. Finch took off for second and as they already had a handful of times in the series, tried to cut off the run at home, by cutting off the throw to second. Finch slowed to avoid a tag, and the ball was throw home, and full of power, Clark dove for the plate reclaiming the lead for the Bandits, 4-3.
Up next, Bandit catcher Selena Collins unintentionally used the clear summer day to her advantage. The Texas A&M alum towered a high-fly to short, but Lovena Chaput lost the ball in the sun, allowing Finch to score, and Collins to reach with a single.
After allowing the run to score, Chaput started off the next inning with a linedrive over the glove of a leaping first baseman Christina Enea for a single. After the next two batters struck out swinging, Germaine Fairchild hit a double to centerfield for an RBI.
Lefty Lauren Bay relieved Finch in the circle in the top of the sixth, but where she shined was at the plate. Bay made a case to be in the batting order more often, powering a shot deep into the clearing behind the left centerfield fence in her first at bat of the year.
In addition to her home run, Bay earned the save, striking out two in the top of the seventh.
Third baseman Vicky Galindo finished the day three for four with a run scored and two RBI, and left fielder Laura Harms went three for three, with two doubles and one single.
The Bandits will take the action on the road next weekend to face the Akron Racers beginning Thursday, July 7th. For more information, visit AkronRacers.org.
For the most recent Chicago Bandits statistics and news, check out the official website at ChicagoBandits.com.