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updated: 8/18/2011 10:40 PM

Monica Abbott, Bandits cruise to playoff victory

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Special to the Daily Herald

SULPHUR, La. -- Monica Abbott, the 2011 NPF co-pitcher of the year, strutted her stuff Thursday night, leading the Chicago Bandits to an 8-1 victory over the Akron Racers in the first game of the best-of-three playoffs. Game 2 is today at 8:30 p.m.

The Bandits spotted the Racers a 1-0 lead but battled back to take a 2-1 lead in the third. Tammy Williams put the icing on the victory with a 3-run homer in the top of the seventh that made the score 8-1.

Abbott, who went the distance and struck out eight in 7 innings, found her rhythm after being called for a few illegal pitches.

"Once (the plate umpire) told me what I was doing wrong I made the adjustments I needed to make," said Abbott, who scattered 3 hits. "My confidence coming in was good. The last time I faced them I threw a perfect game, so I felt that we had the momentum."

"We hit the ball really well tonight," said Bandits manager Darrick Brown. "Any time you hit the ball like we did you put yourself in a position to win the ballgame."