Monica Abbott made her first start of the season a complete-game, 1-hit shutout, striking out 11 as the Chicago Bandits blasted the Akron Racers 14-0 on Friday night in Rosemont.
The Bandits (3-0), who collected 16 hits, jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Amber Patton singled, Alisa Goler doubled and Kristin Butler delivered an RBI single to left that scored Patton. Goler came across on Eri Yamada's sacrifice fly.
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"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."
Yamada and catcher Kazuki Watanabe, whom the Bandits acquired from Japan, made their debuts.
"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."
In the second, the Bandits scored nine times. Tammy Williams doubled and Megan Wiggins blasted a 2-run homer, her second of the season. Yamada drove home a run with a bases-loaded fielder's choice. After Maggie Hull was hit by a pitch, the bases were still loaded. Danielle Zymkowitz and Williams delivered RBI singles. Watanabe recorded her first career RBI with a hit before Wiggins hit a 2-run double. Watanabe scored her first run for the Bandits thanks to Patton's RBI single that made the score 11-0.
Brittany Cervantes belted a solo homer in the fifth, and Mel Dumezich hit a bases-loaded single to drive home a pair of runs.
The Bandits host the Racers (0-3) today in the fourth and final game of the series at 7:35 p.m.