AKRON, Ohio Selena Collins two-run single in the 10th inning lifted Chicago to a 2-0 NPF win over the Akron Racers Sunday afternoon at Firestone Stadium.
Chicago took three of four games from Akron during the weekend and improved to 21-3. Akron slipped to 20-4. The three-day series attendance topped 4,000.
Sundays game showcased Chicagos defense. The Racers out-hit the Bandits 10 to three, but left 13 base runners stranded and had four runners thrown out at home plate. Time and time again, Chicagos defense foiled Akrons vaunted attack.
The Bandits bend-but-dont-break pitching effort was shared between Lindsay Chouinard and Amy Harre. Chouinard (5-0) worked 7.1 innings and picked up the win. The Racers wasted a terrific outing by rookie right-hander Jamie Southern, who tossed eight scoreless innings, struck out 10, and yielded just one basehit.
National Pro Fastpitch runs leader Iyhia McMichael got caught off third base on a ground ball with no outs in the first inning. Chicago turned a double play to end the second frame. The Bandits got pinch runner Tobin Echo-Hawk in a rundown after a failed suicide squeeze in the fourth. In that same inning, a double steal backfired when Nicole Trimboli was thrown out at the plate by Chicago shortstop Jaime Clark.
In the fifth, Akrons Lindsey Bashor was forced out at home plate. The inning ended with the bases loaded when Oli Keohohou popped out on a 3-1 pitch to Christina Enea at first base. It was more of the same in the sixth when Racer Kelly Kretschman was cut down at home by right fielder Kate Varde.
In the eighth, Akron catcher Jenny Topping walked to lead off the inning, but was gunned down at home by Chicago left fielder Laura Harms to end the inning. In the ninth, Bandit center fielder Megan Ciolli robbed Crystl Bustos of a home run.
In the bottom of the tenth, with Chicago leading 2-0, Bustos was put on second base to start the inning. Keohohou hit a high-chopper over the head of Vicky Galindo at third, but Clark, ranging far to her right, scooped the ball up and threw Bustos out at third. With her terrific play, Clark had snuffed out yet another Akron rally.
In the top of the tenth, Clark and Enea scored on Collins single. Clark had been put on second base with the international tie-breaker rule. With two strikes, Enea had punched a single to right field.