ELGIN - The Chicago Bandits' and Philadelphia Force's roles were reversed in the third game of the series after the Force won Game Two with a grand slam. This time, Chicago (14-13) trailed 5-2 in the seventh inning with one final chance to win or tie the game.
Samantha Findlay came in to bat for Aileen Morales and drew a walk. Stacy May dribbled a grounder to third base and Kellie Wilkerson bobbled the throw and May reached base. After Kristie Fox reached on a fielder's choice that got May out at second, Rachel Folden smashed the ball through the left side past the short stop and Morales-who came in to run for Findlay-scored from third. Down 5-3 with one out, Jamie Clark was the winning run with the tying run-Ashley Carlson, coming in to run for Folden-on first. Clark crushed a grounder through the middle, loading the bases. Nicole Trimboli worked the count full and walked, scoring Fox and making the score 5-4. A foul out by Emily Nichols gave Chicago two outs Lindsay Schutzler grounded to second base and Chicago was done.
Philadelphia (19-8) staved off the comeback to hold on to a 5-4 win over the Bandits Friday night at the Judson Sports Complex in National Pro Fastpitch action.
"We had a lot of momentum [in the seventh inning], it was just one bounce here or there and we would have one," May said. "I felt good and saw the ball well and had good pitches to hit.
Megan Gibson (6-1) pitched a complete game for the Force in the win and Tracie Adix (1-1) took the loss for Chicago.
"I talked to [head coach] Mickey [Dean] and its one pitch you wish you could change," Adix said. "I think I pitched better in the second half, I don't know where that was to begin the game."
For the second consecutive day, Philadelphia took the lead on a home run to center field. This time-with Chelsea Spencer and Amy Hudson on base and the game knotted at 1-1- Savannah Long did the damage off of Adix and the Force took the lead 4-1.
Stacy May and Kristie Fox got two early singles to begin the game in the first inning. Rachel Folden bunted them over to third and second, respectively. Jamie Clark hit a sacrifice grounder that scored May and the Bandits took a 1-0 lead.
The Force tied the game 1-1 in the second inning. Savannah Long singled and got to second on a passed ball. With Long in scoring position, Kristen Miller bounced a single into center field that scored Long.
In the third inning, Stacy May smashed her sixth home run of the season over the scoreboard in left field that barely missed landing in the Fox River but former Chicago Bandit Trena Peel answered with an equally long shot to right field that gave Philadelphia a 5-2 lead.
In the fifth inning, Stacy May led off the inning with a double and Megan Gibson hit Kristie Fox in the forearm with a pitch. After working a long count, Rachel Folden walked to load the bases with two outs and Jamie Clark came on and knotted her eighth pitcher deep to right field. As all the fans began to stand and scream the ball landed a few feet short into Peel's mitt.
"We would all agree that Gibson didn't throw her best stuff today," May said. "Tomorrow is a new day, and everything, us and them, will be sharper."
Notes: May finished a triple short of the cycle…the Chicago Bandits and Philadelphia Force will finish a four game series with the final game slated for Saturday, July 19 at 7:05 at the Judson Sports Complex.