Lisle, Ill. The Chicago Bandits maintain their number one spot in the National Pro Fastpitch league as they picked up a win against the St.Louis Saints, 9-0. The Bandits dominated in both sides of the game as they earned 15 hits and pitcher Jennie Finch had 11 strikeouts against the Saints.
Jennie Finch brought her top game as she rejoined with the Bandits after playing with the USA National team in the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City. Finch fell short of a perfect game when the first St.
Louis runner, Andrea Mitchell, earned a single to get on.
The Bandits strength in the top of the order generated the rhythm for this victory. The second and third batters in the lineup, Anne Steffan and Jaime Clark, both earned three hits a piece.
In the first, Steffan bunted to the left side and beat out the throw to get things rolling for those Bandits. With her wheels, Steffan stole second diving head first into the bag. Jamie Clark, who also just returned back from playing with the US National Team, cranked the ball deep into rightfield to give her the RBI.
In the second, Christina Enea drove one deep to left field to give her a triple. Megan Ciolli drove her in when she was thrown out on a grounder to second basemen Ashley Heady to give Bandits another run at 2-0.
Back to back singles from Steffan and Clark led to one run in for the Bandits in the third inning. The duo had a combined six hits out of seven at bats.
The fourth inning turned to a magical one for the Bandits. Although the Saints played their defense well, they were not able to prevent the seven earned hits that came off of the Bandits bats this inning. For the first time this season, the Bandits batted around the order.
Enea led off the lengthy inning with a rip up the middle and also concluded it with a fly to centerfielder Bridget Fournie. Enea was defiantly not the only Bandit with a hit this inning. The trend was continued by Liz Bouck and Steffan, who also recieved singles, and Vicky Galindo, Clark, and Finch with doubles.
Enea went two for three with one triple. The other triple from the Bandits came from Clark who went three for four.
Just as Mel Wallach entered the game in rightfield, Jen Bruck hit the ball in her direction. At the very last second, just before the ball dropped to the ground, Wallach dove towards the ball to grab it for the out.
In the sixth inning the Saints finally put a runner into play. Andrea Mitchell was the first Saint to reach a bag with a drive down the right side to the outfield. Casey Gourell made her best attempt to move Mitchell with a line drive, only to be caught by Clark for the out.
Clark, not satisfied with just one out, gunned the ball to first to claim the double play.
Bandits brought in Lindsay Chouinard to relieve Finch after an incredible six innings. Kim Palmer earned St. Louis second hit of the game with a double to right field. Chouinard finished the inning and game with zero strikeouts and walks and only giving up the one hit.
Saints pitcher, Bruck stuck out one, walked one, and gave up 15 hits.
Neither team gave up any errors in the seven innings played.
All fans that attended the Thurday July 21st game will be able to purchase
$4 grandstand reserve tickets for the rest of the St. Louis series.
Thursdays ticket stub must be present at the gate at time of purchasing tickets.
For more information regarding tickets, new, and up-to-date statistics, visit www.ChicagoBandits.com or call 1-877-7BANDIT.