ROSEMONT, Ill. – After clinching the second seed in the NPF Championship Series, the Chicago Bandits entered the final series of the 2012 regular season against the Carolina Diamonds, the team they are currently scheduled to play in the first round of the Playoffs.
The Bandits came into the game riding a five game win streak, dating back to the beginning of August when they went 3-1 in a series against the Diamonds.
The Diamonds struck first tonight against Chanda Bell (2-2) and the Bandits after Rachel Folden hit a two RBI single to center field in the top of the second inning to take a 2-0 lead. With the bases loaded for the second time in the inning, Bianca Mejia extended the lead to 5-0 as she hit a triple to the right center wall.
Going into the bottom of the second, the Diamonds lead was extended to 6-0 after Angeline Quiocho hit an RBI single to score Mejia. A pitching change by the Bandits brought Michelle Moses (0-3) into the game.
The Bandits loaded the bases in the bottom of the second against Diamonds starter Morgan Melloh (2-1), but left all three runners stranded as Alisa Goler hit a deep ball but was caught near the wall to end the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Danielle Zymkowitz cut the lead to 6-2 as she hit a two RBI single to center field.
The Diamonds quickly recovered the runs as Kelsi Weseman, Mejia and Amanda Kamekona each recorded an RBI in the top of the fourth inning to extend the Diamonds lead to 9-2.
Shannon Doepking gave the Bandits another run in the fifth as she singled to center field to bring home Tammy Williams who led off the inning with a double.
Goler cut the lead to 9-5 in the bottom of the sixth after she hit a two run home run, her sixth of the season, over the center field wall.
Despite the Bandits efforts to mount a comeback, the Diamonds managed to hold onto their 9-5 lead and take game one of the series, snapping the Bandits win streak at five.
“This has been the year of the hitter for the whole league,” said Diamonds catcher Rachel Folden in regards to the Diamonds ability to win games against the Bandits this season. “Averages are up in general and our team has done a good job all season of trying to score early and get deep into their bullpen.”
The Bandits will take on the Diamonds in game two tomorrow at 7:35 p.m. CDT.
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About National Pro Fastpitch:
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.
Photo By: Dina Kwit