It would be easy to pull out some worn cliché, such as “When it rains, it pours,” but that’s too flippant a way to describe Sunday’s rain-soaked game.
The Pennsylvania Rebellion lost 6-4 to the Chicago Bandits at Consol Energy Park because their inexperience was revealed in dealing with three rain delays.
The first delay pushed the start of the game back 53 minutes from its schedule 5 p.m. start. The second stopped the game 10 minutes in the fifth inning and the third was a nine-minute wait that was followed by a four-run seventh for the Bandits.
The Bandits scored runs shortly after each delay off Rebellion starting pitcher Dallas Escobedo, who saw her record fall to 1-8.
“We have a couple pitchers who won’t pitch if there is rain in the forecast,” said Chicago manager Shane Winkler, a former Washington Wild Things player. “And there are some that it really doesn’t matter to them.”
Escobedo said it was difficult to get a good grip on the ball and thought that had to do with the Bandits’ four-run outburst in the seventh inning.
“It’s something you can’t control,” Escobedo said. “I tried to keep my hands dry, but towels don’t really work.”
After the second delay, Escobedo gave up a solo home run to designated hitter Alisa Goler, her first of the season, which gave Chicago a 2-1 lead. After the third delay, the bizarre seventh inning unfolded.
Goler opened it with a single to right and was run for by RT Cantillo. One out later, center fielder Megan Wiggins walked and left fielder Emily Allard singled to load the bases. The rains came again. Nine minutes later, Escobedo walked shortstop Tammy Williams to make it 3-1.
Catcher Kristen Butler then lofted a pop fly that dropped over the second baseman’s head and allowed Wiggins and Allard to score. The throw to home plate from center fielder Ashley Carter was cut off by first baseman Breezy Hamilton and Butler tried to go to second. The throw nearly hit the second base umpire in the head. But shortstop Bianca Mejia caught it and made the tag.
While that was happening, Williams raced around third to home and Mejia nearly collided with the umpire and didn’t make the play.
“If we had a chance to make a good throw, we could have had (Williams) at the plate,” Escobedo said.
Those plays turned out to be important because the Rebellion scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and even had the tying run at the plate. Hamilton accounted for two of those runs with a home run, her third of the season, and left fielder Brittney Lindley doubled in the third.
The Rebellion wasted a golden scoring opportunity in the fifth. Second baseman Lauren Lappin beat out an infield single and catcher Nicole Morgan pushed Lappin to third by reaching second on a single and throwing error. Hamilton tried a suicide squeeze play to score Lappin but missed the bunt and Lappin was caught in a rundown. Hamilton bounced back to the pitcher and Carter struck out to end the inning.
“I missed it. I reached for it. It was outside and low,” said Hamilton. “I didn’t do my job. I’ve got to get the ball down.”
Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the second when Butler singled and her pinch-runner, Alex Booker, came around to score on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Amber Patton.
Mandy Ogle tied the score for the Rebellion when she led off the bottom of the second with a solo home run, her third of the season.
“A little power comes out every now and then,” said Ogle. “That one I could tell was gone.”
Ogle, Hamilton and catcher Taylor Edwards have accounted for eight of the Rebellion’s 21 home runs. They usually bat close together in the lineup.
“Breezy and I seem to go back and forth hitting home runs,” Ogle said, “and Taylor is right there. I guess it depends on whose day it is to hit one.”
Attendance was 789. … The Rebellion fell to 7-27 and head into tonight’s game against the Bandits (19-13) having lost 10 of 12. The final two games of this series – tonight and Tuesday – will be televised by CBS Sports Network. Both games begin at 7 p.m. … Andrea Williamson allowed one earned run in picking up the win and moving her record to 3-2.