Bandits close out season with 38-7 record
Gwen Svekis hit a walk off double to help the Chicago Bandits (38-7) survive their 6-5 victory over the USSSA Pride (32-13) on Sunday.
The Bandits held a 3-2 lead entering the seventh inning before the Pride surged ahead in the top of the inning. With Bianka Bell on base as a result of a fielder's choice, the momentum began to shift in the Pride's favor when Alex Powers hit a single. In the very next at-bat, Alexis Bennett hit another single to score Bell and tie the game.
The Pride took the lead on a Sydney Romero single when Bandits right fielder Emily Crane bobbled the ball while fielding and was too late on her throw to the plate. With two outs later in the inning, the Pride added one more run to their lead when Emily Carosone attempted to steal second base and distracted the Bandits long enough to allow Bennett to score from third base.
In desperate need of baserunners, Jessie Scroggins got the bottom of the inning started for the Bandits with a double. Megan Good entered the game to replace Jessica Burroughs for the Pride at pitcher and walked Amanda Chidester and Abbey Cheek. After Scroggins scored on a passed ball, Svekis hit a blooper down the right field line that was just outside the diving reach of Pride fielder Keeli Milligan, clearing the bases and giving the Bandits the win in the process.
"Going into that at-bat I was thinking about my previous at-bats and how they got me out," Svekis said. "I was looking for a good pitch to hit and luckily I just swung hard and it dropped in the right spot." Not to be outshined, Chidester hit a pair of home runs to generate offense for the Bandits in the early innings. Her first home run came in the first inning when she blasted the first pitch of her lead off at-bat over the centerfield wall. Later on in the fourth inning with the Bandits down 2-1, Chidester hit a line drive, two-run home run to left field to regain the Bandits' advantage. With those two home runs, Chidester has hit a league leading 15 for the season.
"It was just one of those fulfilling moments of going out there and doing what I know I can do and doing the best that I can for the Bandits," Chidester said.
The Bandits and Pride will face off again for the National Pro Fastpitch Championship Series. Game 1 of the series will take place Thursday, August 15 at 7:00 C.T at the Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont.