Chicago Bandits bring home NPF championship
HOOVER, Ala. -- For the second game in a row, the most dominant pitchers in softball took the field Monday night with the Chicago Bandits' Monica Abbott looking to close out the season a champion and the USSSA Pride's Cat Osterman looking to keep her team's season going a little longer.
Abbott prevailed as the Bandits won 1-0 to capture the Cowles Cup Championship at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
After a quiet first inning, a throwing error in the second allowed Tammy Williams to reach when Megan Willis was called for catcher's interference with Danielle Zymkowitz at the plate to put two runners on for Vicky Galasso.
Another Pride error allowed Galasso to reach as it appeared the Bandits took a 2-run lead with Williams and Zymkowitz crossing home.
In a close play, however, the third-base umpire confirmed that Willis applied the tag to Zymkowitz, erasing the second run.
Each team settled back down for the next two innings, but it was the Pride that threatened in the fifth as Amanda Kamekona capitalized on a throwing error to reach second base. Hallie Wilson was then hit by a pitch. Willis popped out to end the inning.
The Bandits loaded the bases in the bottom half on an Emily Allard single and a double from Brittany Cervantes before Taylor Edwards was intentionally walked. A defensive gem from shortstop Madison Shipman completed a double play to end the inning.
Allowing just one additional baserunner through the next two innings, Abbott recorded 2 strikeouts in a row to secure the shutout for the second consecutive night. Picking up her third victory of the championship series, Abbott struck out eight while allowing 2 hits. Osterman took the loss, giving up only 1 run on 4 hits while striking out six.
This is the third championship for the Bandits, their previous titles coming in 2008 and 2011.