Bandits' regular season ends with a loss
The Chicago Bandits concluded the 2017 regular season with a 4-2 loss in extra innings against the league-leading USSSA Pride on Sunday afternoon at The Ballpark at Rosemont.
Paired with a win by the Akron Racers over the Texas Charge, the Bandits dropped to the No. 4 seed in the NPF Championship Series bracket and will face the Pride in the opening round.
USSSA's Megan Wiggins broke a scoreless tie in the third inning when she deposited her sixth home run of the season over the right field fence. Hallie Wilson connected on an RBI-double to extend the Pride's lead to 2-0 in the next frame.
However, the Bandits did not go quietly, as Megan Blank responded with a two-run homer into the first row of the right field bleachers in the fourth. The long ball marked Blank's third in her past seven games.
Right-hander Sierra Hyland earned her second career start in the circle and tossed 4.1 innings before giving way to Shelby Turnier. Hyland, a rookie from Cal Poly, allowed just two runs on three hits while fanning three.
"I saw a lot of good defensive plays, a lot of good things," Bandits head coach Sharonda McDonald said. "We fought -- they just so happened to get the right hit when they needed to."
Turnier pitched effectively in relief, surrendering just one hit in three innings of work. However, the second-year pro from Central Florida was charged with two runs, both coming off the bat of Sierra Romero in the eight inning, and suffered her sixth loss of the season.
"Our record is 0-0 and (USSSA's) record is 0-0," McDonald said. "Scrap Yard is 0-0 and Akron is 0-0. No one has stats going into the postseason. It's a clean slate."
Game 1 of the 2017 NPF Championship Series will be held on Thursday, Aug. 17 at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.