USSSA Pride earns first victory of season with win over Bandits
Elgin, Ill. – With two on and two down in the bottom of the seventh Tammy Williams blasted the 1-1 pitch deep to right field. The ball drilled the base of the right field fence as Williams hustled around the bases, making it home for the third run, inside the park homerun, bringing the Bandits to within one of the USSSA Pride, 6-5.
The Bandits (7-2) were unable to finish the rally as the USSSA Pride (1-3) pitcher Sarah Pauly (1-2) got Bandits’ catcher Rachel Folden to fly out to left to end the bottom of the seventh.
With one down and USSSA Pride centerfielder Caitlin Lowe on second, short stop Amber Jackson blasted a two-run homerun off Bandits’ pitcher Kristina Thorson (4-2) for the early 2-0 lead. Thorson buckled down in the circle, getting the final out of the inning on a ground out.
Caitlin Lowe opened the top of the third with a single up the middle. Three pitches later, USSSA Pride right fielder Kelly Kretschman blasted the 0-2 pitch deep to right field and over the fence for a 4-0 lead.
With Bandits left fielder Vicky Galindo on first and one out on the board, Bandits rookie Tammy Williams grabbed a hold of the 2-2 Sarah Pauly pitch, blasting it deep to centerfield for a two-run homerun, bringing the Bandits two runs closer, 4-2, against the USSSA Pride.
Outstanding defensive plays by Bandits second baseman Kristie Fox and short stop Tammy Williams brought the top of the fourth to a close. Fox made a diving grab on a hard grounder to throw out a USSSA Pride batter. Williams jumped high into the air to grab the final out of the inning.
Both the USSSA Pride and the Bandits went scoreless in the fourth as both went 1-2-3 to make quick work of the inning. In the top of the fifth Bandits’ pitcher Brandice Balschmiter (replacement for Kristina Thorson) continued the trend going 1-2-3 herself while striking out the final out of the inning.
With one out in the top of the sixth, USSSA Pride first baseman Oli Keohohou smacked a single to third base, reaching safely and moving to second when the throw went awry and into the Bandits dugout for the extra base error.
Jessica Williams (Keohohou’s pinch runner) moved to third on a passed ball. One pitcher later, Williams scored on another passed ball, just getting under the Balschmiter tag. The top of the sixth ended two plays later when Bandits centerfield Laura Harms threw out the USSSA Pride left fielder Jess Dignon at second. However, another run scored on the play as Erin Glasco made it home before Dignon was tagged out at second, bringing the score to 6-2 in favor of the Pride.
The Bandits threatened in the bottom of the sixth when Aileen Morales (pinch running for Samantha Findlay) reached third base on a Nicole Trimboli ground out, with two down. The threat ended however when Kristie Fox popped out to USSSA Pride third baseman Sara Larquier.
Two straight hits by Amber Patton and Caitlin Lever opened the bottom of the seventh for the Bandits. A line drive by Vicky Galindo was caught at third base for the first out. Lever was almost doubled up on the play, barely beating the throw to get back to first.
A wild pitch moved Patton to third and Lever to second with Stacy May at bat. Looking at a 3-2 count, Pauly got May to go down swinging for the second out. After Williams’ homerun, Rachel Folden popped out to left field to end the threat, and the game.