LISLE, Ill. - What began as a pitcher's duel between Jennie Finch and Sarah Pauly evaporated into a game of errors as the Comcast Chicago Bandits (19-19) lost a 2-1 decision to the first place Washington Glory. Both Washington runs tallied versus Finch (5-2) were unearned as was the lone Bandit run against the Glory (30-12).
A miscue by the Washington Glory led to the first run of the game for the Chicago Bandits in the home half of the fifth. Laura Harms was able to turn a routine bunt into a four base error. Glory pitcher Sarah Pauly fielded the ball but overthrew first base. The ball rolled far down the right field line allowing the speedy Harms to motor around the base path for the only Bandit run of the game.
With Finch in the circle, normally one run is enough but that didn't prove to be the case tonight. Nicole Barber worked an 0-2 count into a leadoff walk for the Glory in the top of the seventh inning. The next batter, Oli Keohohou laid down a bunt that was fielded immediately by Finch, who fired a perfect throw to second. However, BAndit shortstop Lindsay Schutzler dropped the throw which allowed Washington to have runners on the corners. Brooke Marnitz pinch ran for Keohohou and promptly stole second base.
Finch struck out Amber Jackson for the first out of the inning. With Nicole Thompson at the plate, Finch threw a wild pitch that allowed Barber to score and Marnitz to advance to third. Thompson then lifted a sacrafice fly to left that drove Marnitz home with what would prove to be the deciding run.
Chicago attempted a comeback in their half of the seventh. With Monica Abbott taking the circle for Washington, the Bandits' Gina Oaks drew a leadoff walk followed by an infield single from Caitlin Lever. Harms laid down a sacrafice bunt to move both runners into scoring position.
With one down, Abbott struck both Vicky Galindo and Schutzler out looking to earn her second save of the season and thwart the Bandits comeback bid.
The game took a scary turn in the bottom of the first. Designated player, Jaime Clark fouled off a pitch with the ball ricocheting straight up into her face. Clark immediately left the game (and was replaced by Stephanie Brown) and was transported to the hospital. Clark's status was unknown as of this writing.
The Bandits will take on the Glory for game three of the series tomorrow. Game time is set for 3:05 pm.