With an automatic bid into the National Pro Fastpitch Championship on the line, the Chicago Bandits and USSSA Pride started a pivotal four-game game series at the Ballpark at Rosemont on Wednesday, and the Pride rallied for 3 runs in the seventh inning to defeat the Bandits 3-2. The Bandits need 2 wins in order to secure a spot in the championship, while the Pride needs to win three to force a tie-breaker for first place.
The top two pitchers in the league, Monica Abbott and Cat Osterman, took the circle. Abbott allowed 3 runs on 8 hits with 7 strikeouts, while Osterman gave up 2 runs on 5 hits with a dozen strikeouts.
The Bandits' Amber Patton scored the first run when she walked, stole second and scored on Vicky Galindo's RBI single. They scored again in the third when Megan Wiggins singled, advanced to second on Eri Yamada's sacrifice bunt and scored on Nerissa Myers' triple.
The Bandits and Pride play Game 2 today at 7:05 p.m.