ROSEMONT, Ill. -June 15, 2015- Brittany Cervantes continued to shine as she recorded the winning RBI double, leading the Bandits to a 7-0 shutout of the USSSA Pride in game one of the four game series.
Both Monica Abbott and Keilani Ricketts made their season debuts for their respective teams as Abbott got the start in the circle for Chicago while Ricketts got the call for the Pride. Each pitcher was returning to the NPF following their time overseas playing in the Japan Softball League.
Abbott, the 2012 NPF Pitcher of the Year, wasted no time asserting her dominance, while Ricketts struggled early, giving up three runs on five hits in the first two innings.
Cervantes opened the scoring in the first inning with RBI number 19 on the season to score Danielle Zymkowitz, giving the Bandits a 1-0 lead.
Back-to-back RBI doubles by Amber Patton and Emily Allard gave the Bandits a three run lead in the second. Ricketts finished out the second but was replaced by Blaire Luna in the third.
Luna didn’t fair much better giving up four runs on four hits, including a Kristen Butler three run shot to left field that gave the Bandits a seven run lead in the fifth. Following the Butler home run, Jordan Taylor came on in relief of Luna to finish out the game.
The Pride threatened in the top of the top of the fourth with GiOnna DiSalvatore on base when Kristen Sandberg doubled by DiSalvatore was thrown out at home, keeping the Pride off the scoreboard.
Abbott picked up her first win of the season with tonight’s shutout, giving up just four hits while striking out seven. Ricketts suffered the loss.
After the game tomorrow, Sunday, June 15 there will be a partial team autograph session with following players:
- Jessica Bracamonte
- Danielle Zymkowitz
- Kristen Butler
- Natalie Hernandez
- Megan Wiggins
- Andi Williamson
- Kirsten Verdun
- Entering tonight’s game the Pride’s team ERA was 0.87. Following tonight’s loss it now stands at 1.58
- Megan Wiggins also made her season debut for the Bandits tonight after returning from her time overseas playing in the Japan Softball League
- Butler’s home run was her second on the season
- Cervantes now has 20 RBIs in nine games this season, three more than her previous career high of 17 in 2013
- With tonight’s win the Bandits and Pride are tied for first in the NPF
- Tonight’s game was the first time the Pride and Bandits faced each other since last season when the Pride won the 2013 Cowles Cup Championship over the Bandits in the best of three series