Rookie Michelle Gascoigne (Photo by Dina Kwit)
ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Bandits received their first loss of the 2013 season after the Akron Racers scored two late runs in the sixth to take a 5-4 advantage.
Nikki Nemitz made her first start of the season in the circle for the Bandits, pitching 6 innings before being relieved by rookie pitcher Michelle Gascoigne, who is fresh off a Women’s College World Series championship with the University of Oklahoma.
Erin Arevalo started on the mound for the Racers and was replaced by Lisa Norris in the second who finished the game.
The Racers lit up the scoreboard first scoring three runs in the second inning. Ayumi Karino’s triple to left field scored two runners and Taylor Schlopy’s single scored Karino, giving the Racers a 3-0 advantage heading into the bottom of the second.
The Bandits responded with a run in their half of the inning after Danielle Zymkowitz’s triple to center allowed Eri Yamada to score, cutting the Racers lead to 3-1.
“Once Arkon threw the first punch at us, then we came out to play,” said Zymkowitz. “But we should have been ready to start the game like we did in the rest of the series. We fell a little bit short tonight but we still had productive at-bats. A sweep would have been nice but now we have something to work on going into the NY/NJ series.”
Chicago took the lead in the bottom of the third, scoring three runs. Zymkowitz stepped up to bat with the bases loaded and delivered an RBI single that pinch runner Kimi Pohlman scored on. Nerissa Myers was then able to score off Brittany Cervantes’ sac bunt. Vicky Galindo hit one sharp to short allowing Yamada to score, as the Bandits took a 4-3 lead heading into the fourth inning.
The Racers responded in the top of the sixth, taking a 5-4 lead after Tess Sito’s triple allowed two runners to score.
Chicago tried to rally in the seventh after Yamada hit a leadoff triple, but the squad was unable to convert any runs, resulting in their first loss of the season.
The Bandits take their first road trip of the season to face the NY/NJ Comets for a four-game series beginning Thursday, June 13. First pitch is set for 5:30 pm.
Michelle Gascoigne made her first appearance in a pro jersey
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.