Article by Andrew Phillips
With two down in the bottom of the sixth, Chicago’s Kristie Fox singled to move Laura Harms to third and put herself on first. The very next batter, Bandits’ (3-1) rookie outfielder Izmena Cabrera, singled to center, scoring Harms. The centerfielder misplayed the ball allowing Fox to score from first. Cabrera reached second base safely on the play, giving the Bandits a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth.
Jennie Finch would hold on in the circle to seal the victory for the Bandits, 2-1, over the Force (1-2).
Bandits’ pitcher Eileen Canney stepped into the circle to kick things off for the Bandits in the top of the first. Canney sat down the first two batters in quick fashion with strikeouts, and finished the inning with a bloop liner to Tammy Williams at short stop.
On the other side, Philadelphia’s Kristin Erb took to the circle in her first career start in the NPF. Erb mimicked Canney with two quick strikeouts of Stacy May and Amber Patton. Bandits’ rookie Tammy Williams grounded out to short stop to end the bottom half of the first. Three up, three down for both teams and it was almost identical in plays too.
With one out in the top of the second, Philadelphia’s Clare Burnum sent a hard grounder to Tammy Williams at short stop.
Williams back-handed the grounder and threw to first, recording the second out of the inning. Canney finished things off with her fourth strikeout of the game.
With two runners on and one out in the bottom of the second, Bandits second baseman Kristie Fox sent a deep shot to right field for a single. Samantha Findlay was on her horse trying to score from second, but was thrown out at home by Philadelphia right fielder Trena Peel on the play.
One batter later, Jamie Schloredt walked to load the bases for Vicky Galindo with two outs on the board. Galindo sent a hard liner to first base that was snagged by Danielle Kinley for the final out of the inning.
The Force flexed their muscle in the top of the third when Kinley and Emily Friedman reached safely. Two pitches later they were moved to third and second on a passed ball. Bandits third baseman Stacy May grabbed a soft grounder at third, and threw to first to get the first out of the inning.
After a misplayed run down on the third base line, Philadelphia loaded the bases. Audrey Lafountain hit a hard grounder to short. Fox fielded the ball cleanly and threw home to keep a run from scoring. Nicole Trimboli recorded the final out of the inning by catching a deep fly to center.
The Bandits opened up the bottom of the third with a Stacy May single up the middle. Amber Patton struck out as the next batter, but pinch runner Ashley Carlson stole second on the play. Carlson advanced to third on a sacrifice grounder by Tammy Williams. One pitch later, Folden grounded out to end the inning.
DeAnn Justice opened the top of the fourth with a solo homerun off of Bandits’ pitcher Canney for a 1-0 lead. After an infield error to put one on, the Bandits buckled down to get the final two outs of the top of the fourth inning.
With two on in the top of the fifth and no outs, Kristina Thorson stepped into the circle to replace Eileen Canney for the Bandits. Thorson forced a grounder to first for the first out, and battled the second batter to a 3-2 count before forcing Brette Reagan to fly out to deep left. Thorson held tight on the mound, striking out Justice for the final out of the inning.
Jennie Finch came into relieve Kristina Thorson in the circle for the Bandits to start the sixth inning and immediately gave up a single to put one on. Two pitches later the runner, Clare Burnum, moved to third with one out. Finch buckled down to get Kinley to ground out to short for the second out of the inning, keeping Burnum at third. Finch struck out Philadelphia’s Friedman to end the inning and strand one on third.
With the 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh, Jennie Finch came back into the circle to try and close out the victory for the Bandits and earn her first win of the season. Finch kicked off the seventh by striking out the first batter, Jami Lobpries.
Finch followed that up by striking out Lillian Hammond for out number two. A ground out to shortstop ended it for the Force.
Bandits 2, Force 1
photo Getty Images