NPF Diamonds vs. Chicago Bandits, Thursday-Sunday at Rosemont Stadium
Game times: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 5:35 p.m. Sunday
Scouting the Bandits: The Bandits (7-5) remain tied with the Akron Racers at the top of the league after splitting last weekend's 4-game series with the Racers. Pitcher Monica Abbott struck out 18 and allowed only 1 hit in 7 innings, giving the Bandits a 10-0 win in the first game. Alisa Goler, Nikki Nemitz, and Rachel Folden each hit a home run against the Racers. Despite that success, the Bandits are coming off a 10-3 loss to the Racers in the series' final game.
Scouting the Diamonds: After starting the season with 3 straight wins, the Diamonds (4-8) fell into a 7-game losing streak, 5 of which came against Akron. They broke the streak Sunday against the USSSA Pride, but then dropped the second half of the day's doubleheader. In last weekend's win, pitcher Morgan Melloh allowed only 1 run and struck out 6. Rookie outfielder Jessica Bachkora's home run secured the Diamond victory.
Notable: Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano will throw out the first pitch at the Bandits game on Thursday, thanks to avid twitter user and Bandits centerfielder Caitlin Lever (@CaitlinLever), who contacted Zambrano via twitter.
-- Jayna Johns