The first day of the NPF Championship Series took place last night, August 23rd. The games were held at the Ballpark at Rosemont, in Rosemont, Illinois, just 30 minutes (or so) outside of Chicago. If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by and check out the games!
The Chicago Bandits (#2) faced the Carolina Diamonds (#3) to start the series off. Both teams were a little stiff to start off the game. Players from both the Diamonds and the Bandits said that the nerves going into the series as well as trying to figure out how the ump was going to call the ball played into the slow start.
After the first inning everything started to click for the Bandits. It helps that they have the Pitcher of the Year, Monica Abbott, who had an outstanding game. The Diamonds were having a hard time connecting with the ball, so the Bandits defense wasn’t tested often. On offense, however, the Bandits were making connections with the ball all over the place. Alisa Goler and Megan Wiggins had back-to-back doubles. Kristen Butler hit a home run to solidify their lead.
The Carolina Diamonds had a tough time on defense. There were several plays where the ball was mishandled and throws were sloppy, giving the Bandits some free bases. They were clearly upset with the 7-1. Coach Lisa Navas ended by saying “It’s a game, the game doesn’t know who’s supposed to win so we’re just going to go out and fight. That’s all we can do.“
The Diamonds face the Bandits again tonight (Friday, August 24th) at the later time spot, 8:30pm on Day 2 of the NPF Championships.
The second game of the night featured the USSSA Pride and the Akron Racers. After watching the #2 ranked team beat the #3 ranked team by such a margin I was suprised at the outcome on this match against #1 and #4.
USSSA Pride pitcher, Cat Osterman, had an outstanding game. She had a two-hit shut out and threw 10 strikeouts. She only allowed four base runners and walked just two Racers. The other star of the Pride, Jessica Mendoza had some trouble at the plate. She had such force behind her swing but couldn’t connect with the ball.
The racers had a few errors in the bottom of the third, but Co-Defensive Player of the Year Kelley Montalvo had a great triple in the top of the fourth. In the end, the Racers didn’t make it across home plate. The USSSA Pride beat the Akron Racers 4-1. They play again tonight at 6pm at the Ballpark at Rosemont.