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updated: 8/24/2012 11:55 PM

Bandits return to NPF Championship Series

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By Daily Herald News Services

The Chicago Bandits, the defending National Pro Fastpitch Champions, are headed back to the Finals.

The Bandits eliminated the Carolina Diamonds in Game 2 Friday night with a 5-1 victory at The Ballpark at Rosemont with Monica Abbott coming on in relief to seal the win. The Bandits took Game 1 of the series 11-1 Thursday behind Abbott, and now move into the championship series at 7 p.m. Saturday in Rosemont.

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The winner of the No. 4 seed Akron Racers vs. No. 1 seed USSSA Pride series will play the Bandits in a best-of-three game series Saturday and Sunday.

In that series, Akron rallied from a five-run deficit Friday night to defeat the Pride 8-7 and force a third game in their best-of-three series. Game 3 of their series begins at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Pride pitcher Cat Osterman, who got the victory in Thursday's 4-0 win over Akron with a two-hit shutout, took the loss Friday, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits with a walk in 1 innings.

Jessica Mendoza had 6 RBI and 2 home runs for the Pride, but it wasn't enough as Akrton battled back from an early deficit to take an 8-6 lead in the sixth inning and held on for the win.

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