Andi Williamson and the Chicago Bandits made the most of their opportunity on Saturday afternoon, winning 6-5 over the homestanding Akron Racers in a game which was broadcast nationally by ESPN2.
The Bandits, sitting in first place in the National Professional Fastpitch league, then improved to 12-3 on the season by shutting out the Racers 8-0 on Saturday night to complete the day-night doubleheader sweep.
Williamson notched the win on the mound in Saturday’s TV game opener, improving to 3-0 in her professional softball career.
Williamson, a 2009 Chapmanville Regional High School graduate, Harts native and former pitcher at Marshall University, pitched five innings and allowed five runs (only on earned) and five hits with five issued walks and two strikeouts. After giving up four runs in the bottom of the third as Chicago trailed 4-2, she was relieved by Mel Dumezich in the fifth after the Bandits scored four in the top of the fourth to lead 6-4. The rookie from Texas A&M would exit quickly, though, as Charlotte Morgan’s long single loaded the bases in the fifth inning.
The Bandits then brought in ace Monica Abbott for a save opportunity. The veteran hurler shut down the Racers’ offense, striking out six though three innings of work and closing out the win for Chicago.
The Bandits were led by veteran second baseman Vicky Galindo, who ripped two home runs and drove in three for the game.
Ivy Renfroe, a former pitcher at the University of Tennessee, took the loss for the Racers within the circle.
The Racers recorded a pair of singles against Abbott in the bottom of the seventh but were unable to capitalize, leaving the winning run at first base.
Abbott then pitched Chicago to the 8-0 win in the nightcap.
Abbott, a former United States Olympian, improved to 5-1 on the season and allowed just three hits while striking out 13 in seven innings of work.
Alisa Goler had a double and Nerissa Myers hammered her first career home run to make it a 2-0 ballgame in the top of the third inning.
The Bandits plated three more runs in the sixth after Vicky Galindo doubled and later scored off Kimi Pohlman’s single. Kristen Butler was called upon to pinch hit and delivered, hitting her second home run of the season and tacking on two more Chicago runs.
In the top of the seventh, Chicago plated three more runs.
The Chicago Bandits are scheduled to play again on Wednesday night at home against the New York/New Jersey Comets. The contest begins a four-game home series.
* If you missed Saturday’s Bandits game and want to see Williamson pitch as a professional you can catch a replay of the broadcast on the internet on ESPN3.com with the network’s Watch ESPN app.
Williamson, who wears her familiar No. 13, had a 2.33 ERA heading into Saturday’s action. He has now thrown 19 innings and has fanned 15 and walked 11.
Her array of pitches was on full display during the game. Williamson’s fastball topped out at 71 miles per hour.
Williamson was not drafted but was a free agent pickup by the Bandits in early June.
She led Marshall to its first ever NCAA Tournament in late May. The Herd played in the Lexington Regional and finished 1-2 with a victory over Notre Dame in which Williamson pitched.
The Chicago Bandits’ team colors are orange and black, ironically, the colors of Chapmanville Regional High School.
Williamson led Chapmanville to Class AA state championships in 2007 and 2009.