NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 14, 2010) The Tennessee Diamonds struck first and fought off a couple of challenges to beat the Chicago Bandits 5-3.
It was the first time this season the Diamonds have beaten the Bandits.
There were 165 fans at Draper Diamond on the Lipscomb University campus to watch the game Wednesday night.
“It is so nice that we are starting to get the clutch hits that we weren’t getting earlier in the season,” Diamonds coach Ernie Reynolds said. “Nothing has significantly changed in the group except that when they go on the field now they have a little more confidence and they are able to get a few things going our way.
“I always thought we had a pretty good ballclub, but it hasn’t been reflected in our wins and losses until this homestand. We are doing a lot of things now to help ourselves.”
The Diamonds got on the board when Angela Quiocho slammed a two-run, two-out home run over the 220-foot mark in center field in the fourth inning. Also scoring on the homer was Loryn Johnson who had reached base on a single through the right side.
In the fifth the Bandits came back to tie the game with two runs. A sacrifice fly to center by Emily Friedman scored Amber Patton who reached base on a walk. Christine Knauer’s bunt single scored Angela Findlay who had doubled to center field.
With two outs in the fifth Megan Gibson singled up the middle and advanced to second as Chicago center fielder Friedman bobbled the ball. Jenna Rhodes, who had walked, and Shanel Scott, who singled, both scored on the miscue.
The Bandits scored a run in the sixth when Vicky Galinda scored from third on a wild pitch by Monica Abbott.
DeDe Justice led off the sixth with a solo homer that went over the scoreboard in center field.
Abbott, 5-3, gave up four hits. She walked one and struck out five, the first time this season she has not been in double figures in strikeouts in a game at Draper Diamond.
Right-hander Eileen Canney lasted 4.2 innings for the Bandits. She scatted six hits and allowed four runs, three earned. She walked four and struck out five. She was replaced with two outs in the fifth by left-hander Nikki Nimitz who lasted 1.1 innings. She gave up two hits and one run while walking one and striking out five.
The series with the Bandits continues Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at 7 with the closing game Sunday at 2.
DIAMOND GEMS: Abbott did not allow a hit until the fifth inning when Angela Findlay doubled to center field. …The Diamonds warmed up for the game with the Bandits by playing an exhibition game with the Venezuelan National Team. The Diamonds won 4-2 with the big hit of the game from Justice who hit a home run in the second inning. …The exhibition game home run did not count in the season stats for Justice, but her solo shot against Chicago was officially her first of the season.