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Chicago wins first-ever NPF Championship Title

August 24, 2008 - National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) - Chicago Bandits News Release

KIMBERLY, Wis. - The fantastic journey for the Chicago Bandits came to a magical end on Sunday evening in Kimberly, Wis. as they defeated the Washington Glory by a final score of 6-4 to win the 2008 NPF Championship Series and Cowles Cup Trophy.

The win for the Bandits was their 15th straight and third in the row during the playoffs. At the midway point of the regular season the Bandits were 12-12 and in fourth place, but they went on to win 20 of 24 regular season games to win the regular season crown. They continued the "refuse to lose" mentality in the playoffs by going 3-0.

The championship game didn't start in the Bandits favor. Washington' leadoff hitter, Nicole Barber, dropped a fly ball in down the left field line passed a diving Nicole Trimboli. The ball rolled all the way to the fence allowing Barber to scamper home with a inside the park home run.

Chicago didn't waste much time getting the lead back. Rachel Folden picked up her fifth hit in as many at-bats over the last two games to bring veteran Jaime Clark to the plate. Clark fouled off several pitches from Washington starter Sarah Pauly before getting a pitch she could handle. And that she did. Clark blasted a two-run homerun deep over the leftfield fence.

It would be Washington's turn to score next. The Glory would score three runs of their own in the top half of the third inning. Washington reeled off three consecutive hits, including an RBI triple from Amber Jackson and a two-run bomb by Oli Keohohou to take the 4-2 lead.

The lead would remain in Washington's favor until the bottom of the fourth inning. Five-year pro Nicole Trimboli took a pitch from Desiree Serrano deep to right field for a solo homerun that cut the lead to one.

It wasn't until the bottom of the sixth inning that the Bandits would take the lead for good. After a leadoff double from Folden and a walk to Trimboli, rookie slugger Samantha Findlay put the Bandits in the lead for good with a double to the left center field gap. Amanda Freed would drive in Emily Nichols, who was running for Findlay, with a pinch-hit single to centerfield for an extra insurance run.

Jessica Sallinger came in to relieve Thorson in the top of the seventh inning to record the save. Sallinger was a part of all three games for the Bandits, as she was earned the win in games one and two and then the save in game three.

NOTES: This is the first-ever championship for the Comcast Chicago Bandits. They have won the NPF Regular Season crown on three separate occasions, but never won the title. Trimboli was named the 2008 NPF Championship Series MVP after going 5-for-9 in the three games, with five runs batted in, four runs scored, two home runs and a stolen base.

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