Stratford, CONN - The Connecticut Brakettes lost their third straight game Friday night, a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Bandits. Sarah Pauly pitched her best game of the year, but the Brakettes could not capitalize offensively. Pauly went the distance again, giving up two runs on three hits. The second run was unearned. She struck out seven and only gave up a single intentional walk, but the three errors committed by the Brakettes did them no favors.
Pauly threw four perfect innings before allowing a baserunner in the fifth. The lead off batter, Nicole Trimboli, reached on a fielding error by first baseman Stephanie Hill. After Megan Ciolli pinch-ran for Trimboli, Mackenzie Vandergeest bunted her over to second. Selena Collins hit an RBI single to right field to score Ciolli and break up the no-hitter.
The Brakettes continued to hurt themselves in the sixth, already down 1-0. After Pauly struck out Anne Steffan to record the first out, Vicky Galindo doubled on what should have been just a single. Her basehit to left was fielded by Aimee Minor, who threw it back in to shortstop Stephanie Best. Unfortunately for Connecticut, neither saw Galindo sneaking into second for the extra bag. A comebacker hit by Trena Peel caught Pauly by surprise, who looked to third instead of getting the sure out at first, and everyone was safe. Peel then took second base, prompting the Brakettes to intentionally walk slugger Jamie Clark. Trimboli then grounded to second baseman Erica Sobel, whose only play was to first. The out was tallied, but the result was a 4-3 groundout RBI, and an insurance run for the Bandits.
Gina Oaks went the distance for the Bandits, baffling the Brakettes hitters, while holding them to just a single by Andrea Duran. Oaks improved to 2-1 on the year, while Pauly dropped to 4-2. The defeat dropped the Brakettes to 7-4, two games back of the first place Bandits, who improved to 10-3.
The third game of the four-game series will take place Saturday night at 7:05 at DeLuca HOF Field in Stratford, CT.