Solid pitching helps Bandits sweep double header
Written by - Grace Weitz
Elgin - Two was the magic number today as the Chicago Bandits’ swept the double header to preserve their undefeated streak against the Tennessee Diamonds with four wins in the five game series.
The Bandits broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third in the first game of the day when Christine Knauer’s infield hit started a four run scoring streak. After right fielder Angela Findlay singled, Bandit’s catcher Rachel Folden hit a ground rule double to deep center, scoring Knauer and advancing Findlay to third. The RBI was Folden’s 10th of the year, putting her at the top of the Bandits’ leader board for RBI’s.
With runners on second and third Sam Findlay stepped to the plate. A two-run walk off home run in the bottom of the seventh last night already under her belt, Findlay wasn’t done hitting in this series, singling and scoring Angela in the process.
The inning continued to go the Bandits’ way. A wild pitch from Tennessee pitcher, Kristin Erb, brought Folden rushing home and, with Findlay rounding third, an errant toss from Diamonds’ catcher DeDe Justice allowed Findlay to sprint home.
Tennessee tried to answer in the top of the fifth when Jenna Rhodes’ double scored Shanel Scott, but two leaping catches by Emily Friedman in centerfield preserved the Bandits’ 4-1 lead for good.
The Bandits’ hitting wasn’t the only thing on point today. After leaving the game after the first inning last night, Jessica Sallinger returned to the pitching circle for the Bandits. Sallinger was solid, picking up the save. In the top of the third with Diamonds’ players on second and third and one out, Sallinger pitched her way out of a jam, striking out Carly Wynn for the final out.
Similarly, Chicago Bandits’ pitcher, Kristina Thorson, shone for the Bandit’s in the second game of the day, allowing the Diamonds only two hits and striking out six in seven innings pitched.
A series of wild pitches in the bottom of the first from Tennessee pitcher Samantha Sheeley started the Bandits scoring, racking in two runs for the Bandits and putting them ahead for good.
Despite Sheeley rebounding in the bottom of the second inning and striking out three Bandits’ batters, the Diamonds couldn’t recover and dropped a fourth straight game to the Bandits 4-0.
The Bandits’ improve their winning streak to four games with a 9-7 record and are now 1.5 games behind the Akron Racers for first place in the NPF. Tennessee drops to 2-14 and remains in fourth place.
The Bandits will take on the Diamonds in the final game of the five game series tomorrow July 4 at 2:05 p.m.