Findlay blasts grand slam, Canney pitches solid in Bandits win
ELGIN, Ill. - Coming off a 15 hit night on Thursday, the Chicago Bandits (25-12) bats picked up right where they left off with both Tammy Williams and Amber Patton reaching base on swinging bunts to kick off the bottom of the first inning. Rachel Folden followed them up with a walk to load the bases for Bandits’ first baseman Samantha Findlay.
Findlay continued with the hitting streak, blasting a grand slam over the centerfield fence – all the way to the baseball field about 260 feet deep total – to put the Bandits up 4-0 in the bottom of the first.
Behind another solid performance from Bandits’ ace Eileen Canney (10-4) the Bandits cruised to within one victory of clinching the first place bid in next week’s National Pro Fastpitch playoffs.
One out after Findlay’s grand slam, and with Vicky Galindo on second and Jamie Schloredt on first, Bandits’ centerfield Caitlin Lever stepped up to bat. With a 1-1 count against Rockford’s Allison Kime (3-9), Galindo and Schloredt pulled a double steal to move to second and third. Lever followed them up with a walk to load the bases, but all three would stay put as the inning ended on a groundout.
The Bandits struck again in the bottom of the second when Stacy May blasted a two run double through the left side of the infield with the bases loaded – Patton and Ashley Carlson (pinch running for Folden) scored on the play.
Runners stranded was the story of the night for the Thunder as they managed just three hits and four walks totaling seven runners on base against Canney, who finished with seven innings pitched, three strikeouts and four walks in the effort.
Rockford’s Kime finished with six strikeouts, six walks and six earned runs on nine hits in the losing effort.
These two teams square off again tomorrow night at 7:05 pm. The expected starter for Rockford is Cat Osterman, and a starter for the Bandits has not been named.