VIERA, Fla. -- A pair of home runs off the bat of Lauren Chamberlain helped the USSSA Pride down the Bandits 3-0 on Thursday night at Space Coast Stadium.
Chamberlain, who homered for the first time against the Bandits during the 2017 season in Tuesday night's contest, added her team-leading sixth and seventh blasts against Chicago rookie Kaia Parnaby. The Aussie southpaw pitched effectively in her professional debut, lasting into the fifth inning while allowing three runs and striking out four.
Parnaby joined the Bandits (16-16) following her appearance for the Australian National Team at the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. During the tournament, Parnaby logged 20.2 innings in the circle and collected a pair of wins while sporting a respectable 3.05 ERA.
Parnaby (L, 0-1) suffered the loss, but kept the Bandits within striking distance after USSSA took a lead on Chamberlain's initial home run in the second. Pride starter Keilani Ricketts (W, 7-3) kept the Chicago lineup off-balance throughout the night, surrendering zero runs on four hits in 5.1 innings of work.
Ricketts struck out eight in the win while the Bandits could not take advantage of their few scoring chances, going 1-for-9 with runners aboard. Just one of the Bandits' five hits on the night -- a two-out seventh-inning double from Alexa Peterson -- went for extra bases.
Haylie Wagner logged 1.2 innings of shutout work for the Bandits in the loss, striking out a pair. Kelsey Nunley earned a five-out save for the Pride (25-6).
The Bandits concluded their seven-game road trip with a 4-3 mark and will head back to Rosemont for a nine-game home stand, beginning on Saturday night against the USSSA Pride. First pitch in the series opener is set for 7:35 p.m.