It was a day of homeruns for the Bandits as four different batters took three different Force (1-4) pitchers deep en route to a 9-4 victory over the Philadelphia Force.
With the victory, the Bandits (4-1) claimed the series win against the Force and maintained their grip on first place in the NPF.
Kristina Thorson (2-1) stepped into the circle in the top of the first to kick things off for the Bandits. With one out, Audrey LaFountain dropped a bunt down the first base line to reach base safely. Two pitches later LaFountain stole second just before Danielle Kinley walked to put two on. Thorson buckled down to strike out Trena Peel for the second out of the inning. Clare Burnum flew out to Vicky Galindo in left for the final out of the inning.
Stacy May and Amber Patton kicked things off in the bottom half of the first for the Bandits and both grounded out for the first two outs of the inning. The next batter, rookie Tammy Williams, blasted the 1-2 pitch from Sam Yodowitz deep to right center field for a solo home run, giving the Bandits the early 1-0 lead. The first inning ended two batters later when Samantha Findlay grounded out.
Thorson had the circle on lock down for the top of the second as she finished out the inning 1-2-3.
With one out in the bottom half of the second, Kristie Fox took a pitch of the helmet to reach first base. Izmena Cabrera followed her up with a single over short stop to bring Vicky Galindo to the plate with just one down. Galindo dropped a sacrifice back to the pitcher to advance Carlson and Cabrera to third and second. The threat ended however, when Stacy May grounded out to short stop.
After a bobbled grounder at third base, Philadelphia’s Audrey LaFountain reached first to put a runner on. She was caught stealing – by a mile – when Rachel Folden gunned her down at second base.
With one down in the third, Tammy Williams recorded her second hit of the game with a single to shallow centerfield.
With Williams on second and one out in the bottom of the third, Bandits’ catcher Rachel Folden blasted a moon shot to deep centerfield, giving the Bandits a 3-0 lead. First baseman Samantha Findlay followed her up with her own solo homerun on the very next pitch, for a 4-0 lead.
Two batters later and with Trimboli on first, Kristie Fox sent a hard grounder through shortstop for a single.
The inning ended shortly later however.
Stacy May doubled to left center to kick things off for the Bandits in the bottom of the fourth. Two batters later, Tammy Williams sent a deep fly to center field, scoring May from third on the sac fly.
With one on and no outs, Philadelphia’s Emily Friedman sent a laser to left field for a double, putting two in scoring position for the Force. Thorson buckled down in the circle to get two consecutive outs on a strikeout and ground out.
DeAnn Justice ripped a single passed Bandits first baseman Findlay for a two RBI single with two down in the top of the fifth, bringing the score to 5-2. LaFountain followed her up with a single of her own. Brandice Balschmiter stepped into the circle to replace Thorson for the Bandits with two down.
Balschmiter locked down the circle to close out the inning safely.
Aileen Morales, in as a pinch runner for Samantha Finlday, stole second base with no outs in the bottom of the fifth.
Kristie Fox sent a liner do center field, scoring Morales from second base to put the Bandits up 6-2.
Philadelphia managed a run in the top of the sixth when Kristie Fox misplayed a hard grounder by LaFountain, putting the score at 6-3. Balschmiter settled down to strike out the final out of the inning.
Samantha Findlay stepped to the plate for the Bandits in the bottom of the sixth with two down and two on. Findlay blasted the pitch, deep to right center for the fourth homerun of the game for the Bandits, putting the score at 9-3 in favor of the Bandits.
The Force added a run in the top of the seventh when Justice took Bandits pitcher Eileen Canney deep to center for a double, scoring Savannah Brown from first.
Kristina Thorson reentered the game in the top of the seventh with one down to close out the victory.