The Chicago Bandits opened their second series of the season by welcoming the Venezuelan National Team to Benedictine University. After going 3-1 against Australia the previous week, the Bandits recorded their first shutout in team history to open up against Venezuela.
Canadian Olympian Lauren Bay was in the circle for the Bandits, capturing her second win of the year, while recording eight strikeouts on the night.
Right fielder Anne Steffan added to her team best on-base percentage by leading off the bottom of the Bandits first by being hit by the pitch from Mariangi Bogado. Steffan had almost begun her move to second as Liz Bouck stepped into the box. The throw from Venezuelan catcher Zuleima Cirimelle sailed into centerfield, allowing Steffan to swipe her third base of the year.
After Bouck popped up to shortstop Denisse Fuenmayor, Chicago centerfielder Megan Ciolli walked to put runners on first and second. Bandit third baseman Gina Oaks followed by flying out to right, which allowed Steffan to advance to third.
On the first pitch to Bandit catcher Selena Collins, Ciolli took off for second. The throw was cut off by Fuenmayor, but the blazing speed of Steffan allowed her to slide around the tag of Cirimelle, to give the home team a 1-0 first-inning lead, despite not recording a hit in the inning.
Both pitchers dominated the middle innings, shuting out the opposition until the Bandits last at bat.
Venus Taylor led off the fifth inning with her first hit of the season. However, the next three batters left the veteran stranded.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Oaks walked after Ciolli had lead off with a pop out to center. Kate Varde came in to run for Oaks, and Bogado hit Selena Collins, putting runners on first and second. Designated player Haley Viefhaus advanced the runner, but came up short at first, thrown out by second baseman Zuleima Rodriguez. Christina Eneas hard hit single to right field brought in Varde, but Collins was thrown out at home to end the inning.
With Venezuela unable to plate any runs in the seventh, the Bandits notched their fourth victory of the year and Bay collected the first shutout in club history.
Fridays contest against Venezuela will begin at 7:00 PM. For tickets call 1-877-7BANDIT. To get the most up-to-date Chicago Bandits information, visit ChicagoBandits.com