Bandits split doubleheader, drop series vs. Spirit
The Chicago Bandits managed a split in Saturday afternoon's doubleheader against the Aussie Spirit but dropped the three-game series with a loss in Game 2.
Former Bandits pitcher Kaia Parnaby, now a member of the Spirit in their inaugural season as an NPF franchise, delivered an impressive performance in a 3-0 win in the back half of the twin bill. Parnaby, who earned her second victory in as many starts, scattered 4 hits and didn't allow a run across 6 innings of work. She struck out six before turning the game over to veteran right-hander Jordan Taylor,
Taylor collected her second save after a shutdown seventh frame to clinch the series for the Spirit.
Bandits right-hander Rachele Fico matched Parnaby pitch-for-pitch through the fourth but ran into trouble in the fifth after three defensive miscues allowed a trio of runs (one earned) to cross the plate.
Fico (L, 3-2) suffered her second loss of the campaign.
Bandits pitcher Paige Lowary pitched the final two innings and allowed just one baserunner while fanning two batters.
However, the loss in Game 2 did not overshadow a strong effort in the first game of the afternoon as the Bandits used a nine-hit attack to power past their international opponents, 5-2.
Veteran catcher Kristyn Sandberg sparked the offense and shot an RBI double to the right-center gap to plate the game's first run. Rookie shortstop DJ Sanders, whom the Bandits selected 21st overall in the fourth round of the 2018 NPF Draft, launched her first career home run in the second inning to extend the lead to 2-0.
Jessie Scroggins, later named the Vaultz Lock It Up! Player of the Game, continued her stellar start as a professional and delivered a 3-for-3 day at the plate to pace the Bandits. The former Baylor standout also scored a pair of runs and stole two bases.
A combined pitching effort between right-hander Shelby Turnier and Lowary helped stifle the Spirit bats in Game 1 as the duo did not allow a run in six innings. A 2-run homer against Aleshia Ocasio off the bat of Spirit third baseman designated player Stacey Porter represented the lone Aussie runs.
Turnier picked up her second victory of the season. Lowary earned her second save.