AKRON, Ohio - The USSSA Pride upset the Chicago Bandits 2-0 Saturday afternoon at Firestone Stadium to move one step closer to an NPF title. The Pride relied on a great performance in the circle by Monica Abbott and some early offense to gain the victory.
Abbott only surrendered four hits and three walks while striking out eight Bandits in the complete game victory. On the opposite side of Abbott was Jennie Finch who through a strong game of her own, but came out on the short end of things in the end. Finch struck out an amazing 14 hitters while surrendering two runs on five hits and three walks.
The Pride got to Finch early, before she was able to settle in and coast through the second half of the game. In the top of the second inning, Finch walked Oli Keohohou to start the inning. Eventually, Sara Larquier bounced a hit through to left field to score Aimee Lonigro who pinch ran for Keohohou. The Pride finished the scoring for the game in the top of the third inning when Kelly Kretschman led off with a home run down the right field line.
The Bandits biggest threat came in the bottom of the seventh inning down 2-0 with two outs. Caitlyn Lever and Stacey May hit back to back singles and a passed ball put the tying runs on second and third base. Abbott was able to focus in and strike out Jaime Schloredt to end the game.
The Pride now await the winner of the Akron Racers and Rockford Thunder series with game 1 of the finals starting at 7:00 PM. The Championships will finish then on Sunday afternoon. For ticket information contact the Racers' ticket office at 330-376-8188 or purchase tickets online at www.akronracers.org.