BANDITS TOP PRIDE 2-1 IN FIRST GAME OF NPF FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
ROSEMONT, Ill. – In a rematch of the last year’s Championship Final, the USSSA Pride and Chicago Bandits faced off against each other Saturday night at the Ballpark in Rosemont for the best two-out-of-three NPF Final Championship Series.
Pitcher of the Year Monica Abbott (2-0) got the call against Cat Osterman (1-2) of the Pride.
It was a pitcher’s duel through the first two innings of the game when the Bandits broke through in the top of the third as Amanda Williams worked a leadoff walk bringing Shannon Doepking to the plate. Her blast to centerfield gave the Bandits another early lead as they went up 2-0.
The Pride threatened in the third after walks to Caitlin Lowe and Jessica Mendoza put two on for Kelly Kretschman who grounded out to Tammy Williams ending the inning with the Bandits still on top.
Abbott was working with a no hit bid through the first three innings before Andrea Duran’s leadoff single in the fourth but Abbott put down the rest of the Pride batters in order.
Osterman continued to move through the Bandits order only allowing Doepking another base hit in the fifth before the Pride finally got on the board in the bottom of the seventh. The Pride’s Lauren Lappin (right) cut the Bandits lead in half with a solo shot to left field. Natasha Watley followed up with single but Abbott struck out Jessica Mendoza, who entered the game with four home runs and 12 RBIs through the first three games.
Abbott got the win giving up just four hits and four walks over seven innings with six strikeouts while Osterman took the loss giving up two runs on four hits and a walk including six strikeouts.
Both teams return to action tomorrow in the second game of the NPF Final Championship Series at 2:30 p.m. CT. The game will be televised live by ESPN2 and ESPN3. If the Pride win to force a third and final game, the first pitch will take place at 6 p.m. CT, also on the ESPN network.
Tickets for tomorrow’s game are on sale now and can be purchased by contacting the box office at 877-722-6348 or by visiting championship.profastpitch.com.
For more information about the Bandits, visit www.chicagobandits.com
Jennie Finch was on hand to present the 2012 NPF Jennie Finch Award to the Pride’s Natasha Watley prior to tonight’s game. The award is given to the player who best reflects Finch’s qualities: excellence, sportsmanship, leadership and humility.
About the Chicago Bandits
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. Located in the Chicagoland area, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level, and the roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May and Monica Abbott. The two-time NPF Champions play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women’s professional team.
About National Pro Fastpitch: 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.