Lisle, Ill. -- Outside it may have seemed like a perfect day, but to Bandit fans a storm had rolled into the ballpark. The first place Chicago Bandits lost another game to the fourth ranked New York Juggernaut 5-1. The five New York runs were scored in just one painful inning for the Bandits.
The game started off as a pitchers dual. Both Bandit Lauren Bay and Juggernaut Peaches James recorded 5 strikeouts each in just the first three innings. James finished the game with 8 strikeouts and zero walks while giving up 4 hits and will move up just behind 2nd ranked Bay for wins. After this game, Bay has 13 wins and James will now have 12.
Bay was not the only Bandits pitcher to get some action. Both Amy Harre and Gina Oaks came in for the last 2.2 innings, but were not able to repair the dent New York had made in the fifth inning.
In the second inning, Juggernaut Ryan Realmuto dove back to first when catcher Mackenzie Vandergeet attempted to pick her off first base, but it was too far off for Gina Oaks to grab. The ball was deflected off of the umpires body to prevent it from going to right field and allowing Realmuto to advance. A couple pitches later Realmuto was successful at stealing second base.
Jaclyn Pasquerella worked the pitcher in the third inning by staying in the batters box for 9 pitches. Bay finally sent her to the dugout with a swinging and a miss for strike three.
Although the pitchers started out hot, the game took a turn in the bottom of the fourth inning when the scoreboard began to change.
Bandit Gina Oaks ended the series of zeros on the score board with a single into left field. Jaime Clark followed with a double to the fence in center that brought Oaks home for her 18th RBI, bringing the score to 1-0. Vandergeest hit a shot to first baseman Jodie Cox who caught the line drive. Juggernaut Natasha Watley ended the inning by cleaning fielding Lindsay Hammas ground ball.
The Bandits ran into deep trouble in the top of the fifth inning. Amy Smith started it up with a single to advance Chelsea Spencer and Jodie Cox. When Jackie Pasquerella came up to bat, the bases were loaded with zero outs, giving her the opportunity to open up the flood gates.
Pasquerella hit a ground ball to first baseman Clark who threw it right back to home to get the force out. Catcher Vandergeest was not satisfied with just one out so she turned to third with an attempt to get Spencer out. Instead of an out, Vandergeests powerful arm overthrew third base and the ball continued out to the fence allowing all three runners to score.
Fueling from the energy, Watley and Carri Leto followed with two singles. Both players ended up scoring with unearned runs due to throwing errors that had advanced them, bringing New York ahead, 5-1. After Letos single, Bay was replaced in the circle by Amy Harre and the Bandits closed the inning with two more outs. Bay finished her 4.1 inning performance with 6 strikeouts, but walked 3 and gave up another 3 hits. Only three of the runs had been earned.
The Bandits were unable to recover from the damage, but did have two more hits in the game by Megan Ciolli and Gina Oaks.
Even though Harre held the Juggernaut to the 5-1 score, Chicago coaches replaced her in the final inning with Oaks. Both pitchers allowed one hit each without striking out any.
The New England Riptide will be coming to Chicago for a four game series against the Chicago Bandits. Tickets are still available through Ticketmaster or by calling 1-877-BANDIT.