HOOVER, Ala. - Behind another dominating performance in the circle by MVP Monica Abbott, the Chicago Bandits defeated USSSA Pride, 1-0 to win the 2015 NPF Championship on Monday evening at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. The Bandits took advantage of three Pride miscues in the second inning to score the game's lone run. That was all Abbott would need as she twirled her second straight two-hit shutout, striking out eight and walking one.
It was the second straight night Abbott and her counterpart Cat Osterman were locked in a pitcher's duel. Osterman, who did not allow an earned run the entire tournament, fell short for the second straight evening. She finished the contest, scattering four hits, walking two and striking out six.
In the pivotal second inning, Tammy Williams and Danielle Zymkowitz reached with one out courtesy of an error and catcher's interference. Vicky Galasso stepped up and hit one back to Osterman. However, the lefty's errant throw allowed Williams to scoot home with the eventual game-winning run. Williams scored the deciding run in both 1-0 victories over the Pride.
Natasha Watley and Shelby Pendley each recorded a hit for the Pride with Pendley's second-inning blast to left being the most threatening. However, her shot bounced off the wall and Abbott regrouped and got out of the frame unscathed.
Brittany Cervantes and Emily Allard were the only Bandits to have success against Osterman, going 2-for-3 and 2-for-2, respectively.
This is the third Cowles Cup Championship for the Bandits organization with their previous victories coming in 2008 and 2011. The team will return to Chicago on Wednesday, August 18. Details regarding a small championship welcome for fans will be announced as they become available.
-- Image courtesy of Jade Hewitt