Lisle, Ill. The Chicago Bandits started off their final homestand at the Sports Complex of Benedictine University against the Arizona Heat with a bang. That bang came off the bat of Bandits Mackenzie Vandergeest as she sent the ball over the centerfield fence for a 2 run homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning to win the game, 2-0.
Despite the exciting final play, the game started off slow with little action. The Bandits only had four runners on in the first seven innings with none of them advancing past second base. The Heat had a little bit more opportunities to score with seven runners on.
Jennie Finch (14-0) pitched all eight innings for the Bandit with an impressive 10 strikeouts, giving up 4 hits and walking one.
The game looked hopeful for the Heat as Nichole Thompson started them off with a clean double in the first inning. Thompsons shot was the first of the only four hits the Heat had recorded this game. Lovieanne Jung had the next hit for Arizona in the second with a single to right centerfield
The first hit for the Bandits happened in the second inning from Christina Enea (3 for 3) in her 100th at bat of the season. Out of the five hits from the Bandits the entire game, three of them came from the Bandits firstbaseman.
Ladonia Hughes was only player, until the final play, to make it to third base the entire game. Hughes challenged the Bandits when she hit a double to left center and advanced to third on the next play. Unfortunately for Arizona, the three batters following Hughes were out, leaving her stranded at third.
Enea made it on base at her second at bat, but was quickly thrown out on a double play in the fifth off Vandergeests pop-up.
When Tara Knudsen rocked the ball back to Finch in the circle, the pitcher spun around to get Jackie Coburn out at second. Coburn was down for a while as she was injured on the play. After she was checked out by the athletic trainers, she gathered enough strength to go back behind the plate in the next inning
At the bottom of the seventh with no score, Jaime Clark teased fans with a deep hit fly ball, but was caught at the fence by the Heats rightfielder, Lauren Bauer.
Arizona worked Chicago like no other team has down at the Bandits home field. For the first time at home, the Chicago Bandits went into extra innings.
In the top half of the first extra inning, the Bandits were able to hold the Heat with no score. After the two teams switched, Chicago ensured that the game would not go any longer.
When Vandergeest approached the plate, Enea was on first from her third single of the game. After a long slow game, Vandergeest ended it all with one rip. For only her fifth hit of the season, she stepped up to impress with a homerun off Dana Sorensen, sending both her and Enea to win the game, 2-0.
Sorensen gave up as many hits as her 5 strikeouts without walking any.
Tickets are still available for the Bandits last homestand this weekend against the Arizona Heat. To order tickets, call 1-877-7BANDIT or