Photo, right: Watanabe and Yamada (Photo by Dina Kwit)
ROSEMONT, Ill., via release – Monica Abbott made her first start of the 2013 season pitching an impressive complete game shutout while only allowing one hit and picking up 11 strikeouts. The Bandits offense stayed red-hot scoring 14 runs off 16 hits.
Chicago jumped off to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first after Amber Patton singled and was joined by Alisa Goler who doubled to deep left center. Kristin Butler stepped up to bat and delivered an RBI single to left allowing Patton to score.
”It’s always great when you can get a lot of players in for live at-bats,” said Goler. “Monica was Monica, she threw a gem. I thought it was a great game all around. The goal is to play clean softball so if you can avoid errors your chances are going to be pretty good. I think with the new playoff format, you’ll see us turn it up a little knowing each game counts.”
Eri Yamada and Kazuki Watanabe, the players the Bandits acquired from Japan, made their debuts in a Chicago uniform. Yamada started in left field while Watanabe was behind the plate.
“It’s amazing to play with the Japan players,” said Goler. “They work so hard and have been open to everything. Communicating with them is interesting, there’s a lot of hand signals but I’m trying to learn phrases so we’ll see if it will work.”
Yamada made her debut at bat hitting a sac-fly which allowed Goler to score, giving the Bandits an early lead and Yamada her first RBI in the NPF.
The Bandits went on an offensive surge in the bottom of the second, scoring nine runs. Tammy Williams started it off with a double and was batted in by Megan Wiggins’ two-run homerun, her second of the season.
Yamada then stepped up to bat with the bases loaded and delivered a fielder’s choice RBI that allowed Patton to score and gave Yamada her second RBI of the night.
After Maggie Hull was hit by pitch the bases were still loaded and Danielle Zymkowitz delivered a single, which scored Goler. Williams continued the rally with her second hit of the night, a single that scored Yamada.
Watanabe recorded her first career RBI after her hit scored Hull. Wiggins stepped up to bat again with a two-run double, allowing Williams and Zymkowitz to score. Watanabe then scored her first run for the Bandits off Patton’s RBI single to make the score 11-0 heading into the third.
Brittany Cervantes extended the lead, 12-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning after her towering homerun cleared the left field wall.
The Bandits concluded their scoring in the bottom of the sixth when Mel Dumezich hit a single with the bases loaded scoring Zymkowitz and Nerissa Myers and increasing the Chicago lead, 14-0.
The Bandits and Racers return to the Ballpark at Rosemont Saturday, June 8 for the fourth and final game of the four-game series. First pitch is set for 7:35 pm.
– Attendance: 505
– Yamada and Watanabe debut in the NPF
– Chicago is outscoring opponents 26-1
– Maggie Hull recorded her first hit as a professional
– Megan Wiggins is batting a league-best .600