Game three of the series between the Dallas Charge and
the Chicago Bandits was a polar opposite from the first two games on
Thursday and Friday. Kirsten Verdun of the Bandits faced off against
Morgan Melloh for the Charge in a pitchers duel that needed extras to
"I think probably both teams were tired of being slaughtered by the
other," Emiily Allard said of the third game. "So I actually expected
this game to be rather close."
Verdun pitched 6.1 shutout innings with four hits allowed and three
strikeouts. Melloh matched that dominance with seven innings of one hit
ball until the bottom of the eighth when she gave up the game winning
Both teams needed key defensive plays to keep runs off the board.
Danielle Henderson made a sliding catch in foul territory to end the
third and Brianna Cherry robbed Megan Blank of a hit in right field with
a diving catch in the fourth. Tammy Williams initiated two 6-4-3 double
plays in the fourth and fifth with Danielle Zymkowitz and Blank.
Monica Abbott came on in relief in the seventh for Verdun with one out
and Eri Yamada on second to win the game and improve her record to 9-1
on the season.
"I thought our pitching today was incredible," Allard said. "V kept us
in the game for as long as she could. Even in that last inning I still
had faith in her but I loved the call in bringing in Monie and she shut
Yamada started the inning with a single and advanced to scoring position
via a Lauren Haeger sacrifice bunt. Abbott forced both Kaylyn Castillo
and Kaitlyn Richardson to groundout to end the top half of the inning
and struck out the side in the eighth to continue the game.
Kailee Cuico drew a walk to start the bottom of the eighth and advanced
to second on a groundout by Zymkowitz. Allard benefited from a dropped
foul ball miscommunication play between Henderson and Castillo to the
left of home plate to earn a second life and a rejuvenated at bat.
"I was 0 for 3 to start that and instead of going into the box defeated
I really tried to focus on what my adjustment was," Allard said. "I got
really, really big on that one swing and that was what I was trying to
fix. So when she dropped it, it kind of just smacked me in the head and
in my mind I was like you don't want to give me a second chance."
Two pitches later Allard hit the game winning RBI to left center to
score Sammy Marshall who pinch ran for Cuico earning the Bandits a
series victory. Allard rounded first and made a complete 360 before
second to meet her teammates in celebration.
"The mob is a thousand times better then the hit and I am a firm
believer in that," Allard said. "I turned around so fast because I
didn't want to be by myself anymore."
The Bandits face the USSSA Pride in a split four-game home and home
series starting Monday at The Ballpark at Rosemont.
Tickets for Monday night's game and all remaining games for the 2015
season are on sale now at www.chicagobandits.com  or by calling the
box office at 877-722-6348.
Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com
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