Lisle, Ill. Last evening, the Bandits took the first game of the series from the Arizona Heat, with a score of 2-1. Tonight, the Bandits took the field behind starting pitcher, Gina Oaks, for the second match-up in the four game series against the Heat. Coming into the game, Oaks is 3-1 on the season, looking to pick up her fourth win. Not only is Oaks a great pitcher, but she also adds so much to the team when she pitches, as she becomes a fifth infielder for the Bandits. In picking up her fourth win of the season, Oaks only allowed three hits, in the Bandits 6-3 victory over the Heat, increasing the teams record to 18-3.
The Bandits jumped on the board early in the bottom of the first inning as right fielder, Anne Steffan, earned the team their first base runner with a walk. Jamie Clark remained patient at the plate, following Steffan with back-to-back walks, bringing runners to first and second. Next up, Nicole Trimboli hit a shot to shallow center, allowing Steffan to advance to third, but Clark was thrown out on the force play at second. With runners now at first and third, Selena Collins loaded the bases for the Bandits with the third walk of the inning by the Heats pitcher, Leslie Wolfe. Wolfe would continue to struggle, as they went onto walk Amanda Williams, allowing Steffan to come in and score from third, giving the Bandits the 1-0 lead.
The Heat would answer back in the next inning, as Catalina Morris singled on a bunt to the right side. Morris would then advance on a ball hit to Jessica Williams at second, throwing out Toni Mascarenas at first. To push across the Heats first run of the night, Nichole Thompson singled to center field, scoring Morris from second, tying the game at 1-1.
The Bandits refused to role over. Coming into the bottom of the second, Stacy May ripped a shot to left center for a stand up double. May would then advance on her own, by stealing third, where she would not remain there for long, as Steffan laid down a beautiful bunt single to the left side; allowing May to sneak in from third. The Bandits exited the second on top once again with the 2-1 lead.
The action would then pick up in the top of the sixth, with Crystal Farley earning a walk off Oaks. Down to their last out of the inning, Kaleo Eldredge ripped a hard shot at Oaks, who was not able to make the out at first. As Morris stepped to the plate, with runners at first and second, she hammered a standup triple to the right center fence, bringing Farley and Eldredge in safely to score, giving the Heat their first lead of the night, 3-2.
Whenever the Bandits get behind, it never lasts very long. Oaks started off the inning with a walk, who then later advance to second on the sacrifice bunt by Christina Enea. Shortly after, Oaks was on her way to third, on the bunt single to the left side by Stacy May. May would then put both base runners in scoring position by stealing second. With runners at second and third, Steffan dropped another bunt to load the bases. With Nicole Trimboli coming to the plate, she was not about to leave any batters left on base. She launched a ball up the middle allowing Oaks to safely score at home, with May on her heals rounding third. As May slid into home for the second run of the inning, the throw from center by LaDonia Hughes was over thrown, allowing Steffan to sneak past the Heat, and Trimboli to reach third. The Bandits hitting streak would not end there though. Selena Collins added to the Bandits offense with a single to right field, scoring Trimboli from third, giving the Bandits the 6-3 win for the night.
Nicole Trimboli has been hitting phenomenally for the Bandits in the past two homestands. With her rip up the middle to win the game tonight, Trimboli has racked up seven RBIs with runners in scoring position, in the last 5 games. As the Bandits took their second game in a row against the Arizona Heat, they have also increase their winning streak to 12.
The Bandits will return back to Benedictine University tomorrow evening for the third game of series at 7:05 p.m.