Sandberg's blast erases early deficit, Bandits win opener over Comets

The Chicago Bandits claimed their sixth consecutive victory over the Cleveland Comets on Tuesday at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio. Behind a two-run homer off the bat of Kristyn Sandberg, and a combined one-hit shutout between Coley Ries and Ally Carda, the Bandits earned a 4-1 win in the opener of a six-game series.

Sandberg's blast, which negated a one-run deficit in the third, marked her career-high eighth of the season. The veteran catcher took a 2-2 pitch to straightaway center field to put the Bandits on the board against Comets starter Randi Rupp.

Rupp, a rookie right-hander from Texas State, suffered the loss and fell to 4-11 after she surrendered three runs (all earned) on six hits across five innings of work.

Meanwhile, Bandits starter Coley Ries earned the nod and continued to impress in the circle. The second-year standout allowed just one run, a solo shot off the bat of Cleveland first baseman Jade Rhodes, and improved her record to 7-0 on the season.

Ally Carda replaced Ries in the fifth and continued to shut down the Comets bats. The right-hander collected her second save of the 2018 campaign in a three-inning performance. She did not allow a baserunner and struck out four to close out the win.

Ries and Carda received additional run support behind a nine-hit attack for the Bandits. Left fielder Brenna Moss supplied a pair of hits and scored two runs, while center fielder Sammy Marshall went a spotless 3-for-3 at the plate. Veteran third baseman Nadia Taylor also added a pair of doubles.

The Bandits and Comets will continue their six-game stretch Wednesday at Firestone Stadium. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast via Eleven Sports.

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