LISLE, Ill. - After an hour and a half weather delay, the Comcast Chicago Bandits took on familiar foe, the Rockford Thunder in a must win game to keep their playoff hopes alive.
With Jennie Finch and Cat Osterman in the circle for their respective teams, Bandit faithful were treated to a classic pitchers duel that lasted nine innings total.
The Thunder threatened with runners in scoring position in the sixth. Jackie Wong led off with a single through the left side. Kristen Zaleski followed with a double down the left field line advancing Wong to third. With no outs and runners on the corners, Finch showed why she is one of the best striking out three thunder batters in a row to close out the inning.
The Bandits nearly sent the patient crowd home in the seventh inning, were it not for a defensive gem by Rockford. With Gina Oaks at second and Nicole Trimboli at first, and one out in the inning, Caitlin Lever drilled a ball to the right center gap. What looked to be the game winning hit turned out to be an outstanding diving catch by Thunder center fielder, Kristin Zaleski. Zaleski not only made the amazing catch but came up throwing to double up Trimboli at first.
Heading into the ninth inning, with the game still scoreless Stacy May worked the leadoff walk and, with one out stole second base to move into scoring position. Kristie Fox popped out to short for the second out. That brought up Gina Oaks who put a merciful end to a long evening by slapping a base hit to left center field allowing May to motor home for the winning run.
Catch game two of this must-win series Thursday, August 16 at 7:05 pm at the Benedictine Sports Complex.