Rosemont, IL – August 14, 2013 – With an automatic bid into the National Pro Fastpitch Championship on the line, the Chicago Bandits and USSSA Pride started a pivotal four-game game series tonight at the Ballpark at Rosemont. The game certainly did not disappoint as the Pride used a three-run rally in the seventh inning to defeat the Bandits, 3-2.
The top two pitchers in the league, Monica Abbott (16-4, 0.92 ERA) and Cat Osterman (17-3, 1.05 ERA) took the circle for their respective teams in a week 11 showdown featuring the top two teams in the league.
The Bandits need two wins in order to secure a spot in the Championship while the Pride need to win three in order to force a tie-breaker for first-place. The Pride now sit just one game back with three games remaining in the series.
Chicago drew blood first in the second inning when Amber Patton drew a walk, stole second and was brought home off an RBI single by Vicky Galindo to give the Bandits an early 1-0 lead.
The Bandits tallied another run in the third after Megan Wiggins singled up the middle and advanced to second off a sacrifice bunt by Eri Yamada. She was brought home after Nerissa Myers ripped one down the right-field line and hustled around the bases for a triple.
Chicago took a 2-0 lead heading into the seventh inning but the Pride strung along four hits to plate three runs to take the lead, 3-2.
The late rally was started by Lauren Lappin who led off the inning with a single over the head of Bandit shortstop Tammy Williams. Megan Willis followed suit, hitting a single of her own up the middle and Ashley Charters’ bunt-single loaded the bases. Abbott struck out Natasha Watley for the first out of the inning but Caitlin Lowe delivered a single to score a pair of Pride runners and tie the ballgame. Charters then scored the winning run off Kelly Kretschman’s RBI groundout.
Osterman recorded three straight strikeouts to end the game as the Pride took game one of the series, 3-2.
Abbott recorded seven strikeouts while allowing eight hits and three runs while Osterman struck out 12 and allowed two runs off five hits.
The Bandits and Pride play game two tomorrow, Thursday, August 15 with the first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. CDT at the Ballpark at Rosemont.
About USSSA Florida Pride:
The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
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.
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!