Making her first start memorable, rookie pitcher Donna Bourgeois helped the Bandits defeat the NPF Diamonds 7-4. Bourgeois picked up her first career win and clinched a four-game sweep for the Bandits against the Diamonds.
Bourgeois started off a little slow against the Diamonds lineup. She led off walking Kristin Schnake and a sacrifice bunt by GiOnna DiSalvatore which left the Diamonds positioned for their first run. The rookie would work out of the jam, striking out Angeline Quiocho to end the inning.
Staying true to this series, the Bandits struck first off the bat of the red-hot Rachel Folden. Taking in a pitch from Rhiannon Kliesing, Folden laced it over the center field wall, giving Chicago an early 1-0 lead.
In the second inning, Bourgeois again escaped trouble against the persistent Diamonds lineup. After forcing a ground out and strike out, she walked Brittany Hile and with a Jami Lobpries single, left runners in scoring position once again. Bourgeois worked her way out of trouble for the second straight inning to hold the lead at 1-0.
Dominating with their bats, the Bandits seized control of the game as they came up to bat in the second. With a base hit by Jamee Juarez and a walk by Caitlin Lever, Shannon Doepking set down a sacrifice bunt to begin the Bandits’ big inning. With a pair of runners on, Tammy Williams hit a two-run triple, increasing the Bandits lead to 3-0.
Megan Wiggins continued the scoring trend two batters later as she knocked in Williams with an RBI double to left-center field. Amber Patton would also add an RBI single, which signaled the end for Kliesing. Morgan Melloh would enter the game and strike out Folden ending the huge four-run inning.
Entering the bottom of the third inning, the Bandits would continue their hitting prowess. Alisa Goler forced a leadoff walk but was thrown out on a Juarez fielder’s choice. Juarez reached second on a Caitlin Lever sacrifice bun and was driven in on a Doepking single to increase the lead to 6-0.
After another scoreless inning from Bourgeois, the Bandits increased their lead again in the fourth. With a Zymkowitz double and a walk by Wiggins, Chicago was poised to score again.
In an odd play, Amber Patton singled but head coach Darrick Brown held Zymkowitz at third. Wiggins and Patton were caught in between bases, which allowed Zymkowitz to score.
Both pitchers tossed scoreless innings in the fifth and sixth, putting Bourgeois in line for her first win, complete game and shutout.
The Diamonds had other ideas though and would string some hits together and make it interesting for the fans at Rosemont Stadium. After a double, single and walk, Schnake came up with the bases loaded and roped a triple into the right-field gap, driving in all three runners.
That ended the night for Bourgeois as she left with a 7-4 lead. Taryne Mowatt came on in relief and finished the game for the Bandits. After a RBI groundout by DiSalvatore, Mowatt would get the last two outs and complete the four-game sweep for the Chicago Bandits.