ROUND ROCK, Texas-Charging in from left field, Bandits’ left fielder Emily Friedman dove forward, snagging the ball just before it hit the ground, sending the Pride’s Natasha Watley back to the bench in the top of the first.
Unfortunately, Bandits’ pitcher Eileen Canney struggled against the next few batters, giving up back-to-back singles, and a two run RBI that blasted off the bat of Tonya Callahan. The Pride jumped on the scoreboard with a quick two-run lead on the Bandits in the first inning.
The Pride would not let up, taking the series finale by a score of 4-0, earning them the 3-2 series victory over Chicago.
The second inning did not fare much better for Canney as she gave up another run, which began with Canney plunking the Pride’s Francesca Enea.
Watley followed Enea by beating out the throw to first for a single. The Pride’s designated hitter Melissa Roth earned her first RBI on the day, as well as the Pride’s third run of the game, when Enea crossed the plate on Roth’s single to the left side of the field.
Bandits pitcher Kristina Thorson came in to relieve the struggling Canney after two innings of three run, five hit work for the Bandits.
Thorson managed to hold the Pride for two innings, keeping Florida scoreless until Mendoza led off the fifth inning with a triple to left field. She was brought in off the bat of Charlotte Morgan, who’s single dropped in just between Friedman in left field and Christine Knauer at shortstop.
After three innings of work, the rookie Nikki Nemitz quickly relieved Thorson in the sixth inning.
Nemitz performed great with a three up, three down inning, but was replaced by Jessica Sallinger in the seventh. Sallinger gave up one hit to begin the inning, but helped herself out by catching a line drive off the bat of Mendoza and throwing out Jessica Williams who was pinch running for Kelly Kretschman. Sallinger then forced Tonya Callahan to ground out and end the inning.
The Bandits came up scoreless in seven innings as Sarah Pauly and the Pride pitching staff continued to baffle the Bandits’ bats. This marks the second consecutive game, where the Bandits have failed to score any runs, despite multiple opportunities.
Today’s game saw six runners left on base for the Bandits. Four innings had runners in scoring position for the Bandits, but no runs to show for it.
The Pride wins the series 3-2 after today’s win, but remain in second place in NPF standings behind the Bandits.
The Bandits have one home series left before playoffs begin for the League Championships. They will take on the Tennessee Diamonds at Judson University in Elgin, Ill. Thursday, August 19 through Sunday, August 22.
To order tickets for the last home series, call 1-877-7BANDIT (1-877-722-6348) or go to www.chicagobandits.com.
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!