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Chicago Bandits blank ThunderBolts in ‘Battle of the Sexes’ softball game

Evan ButtThunderBolts has laugh with Bandits' JennGrim for Battle Sexes Standard Bank Stadium Monday June 23rd 2014 Crestwood. | Gary

Evan Button, of the ThunderBolts, has a laugh with Bandits' Jenna Grim for the Battle of the Sexes at Standard Bank Stadium, Monday, June 23rd, 2014, in Crestwood. | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: July 25, 2014 6:29AM



Baffled and blown away by some of the best softball pitchers in the world Monday night, the Windy City ThunderBolts needed someone to come through and break up the Chicago Bandits’ no-hitter.

Leave it to the pitching coach.

Pitching coach Brian Smith, playing center field, slapped a base hit to left field for the T-Bolts’ only hit as the Bandits continued their dominance in Battle of the Sexes games, winning 8-0 in front an announced crowd of 1,967 at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.

“Those girls were unbelievable,” Smith said. “To be honest, I just got lucky and dropped one in there. I told (Bandits players) Tammy Williams and Amber Patton that if I got on, I was going to steal. They said I wouldn’t get on, but I did it, and then I stole (second).

“It was awesome. It was great to see our players out here having fun, and I’m sure the Bandits enjoyed it, too.”

Smith also made a nice running catch in the outfield, but it’s the single that has Windy City’s hitters expecting to get some grief.

“We might have to put him in the lineup,” the T-Bolts’ Jon Mestas said.

Mestas was one of three Windy City hitters who got to square off against Bandits ace and former Team USA star Monica Abbott, who pitched a perfect first inning and struck out two. Mestas led off the game with a groundout to shortstop.

“She was throwing so hard (in the mid 70s — mph — from 46 feet),” Mestas said. “It was an honor just to get to face her, and to put the ball in play was great.”

Blaine Nicholson, a local fastpitch pitcher, was made an honorary T-Bolt for the night and pitched well, except for a seven-run third inning.

Megan Wiggins provided the highlight for the Bandits — who improved to 5-1 in Battle of the Sex games —with a two-run triple. Frankfort native and Lincoln-Way East alum Alisa Goler added a two-run single.

“It was great to come out here and relax, have some fun,” Goler said. “It was great to play in front of a big crowd.”

Aside from Smith’s play, Evan Button may have provided the biggest highlight for the T-Bolts, fouling off five two-strike pitches from Estela Pinion before walking in the second.

“That was one of the best at-bats I’ve had all year,” Button said. “I can build some confidence off that one.”

In a sign of the light-hearted nature of the game, the T-Bolts turned a 6-4-3 double play in the seventh with catchers Doug Joyce and Justin Dalles playing shortstop and second base, respectively.

T-Bolts hitting coach Pete Pirman also played, going 0-for-2.



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