They were on a roll after dethroning Wagner's for the Amateur Softball Association regional title last weekend.
Last night, the Jade Garden Bandits again found themselves playing the spoiler against Wagner's -- this time, defending their home turf against a cross-town rival that entered the game with a county 18-and-under League leading 5-1 record.
Just two days earlier, in the ASA tournament's second round, the Bandits needed an Amy McKenzie RBI single to get past Wagner's, 1-0.
Coach Ron Shelhouse wasn't banking on winning last night, but the Bandits cashed in on timely hitting and four Wagner's errors for a 6-4 victory.
"That tournament game was a dogfight. The toughest game, we played Sunday," said Shelhouse, whose Bandits (5-2) defeated Wagner's for the third time at Old Mill High.
"We're very loose rightnow," said Shelhouse, whose Bandits will play in the Aug. 7-11 national tournament at Cedar Lane Park in Columbia. "There was a lot of pressure, but now it's off."
Bandits shortstop Shani Cannon (2-for-4) -- the game's third batter -- put her team ahead for good in the first inning. She followed her one-out RBI triple by scoring on an error by shortstop Erika Backof.
"I felt really good about that hit," said Cannon. "I was hoping I'd get a good hit, and I felt I was due."
A second-innning RBI double by Kelly Tibbs gave the Bandits a 3-0lead before second baseman Nicole Dunleavy's third-inning RBI tripleput the Bandits up, 4-0.
"I'm still in a slump, but our team's ontop right now," said Dunleavy, who also scored the fifth run on an error by second baseman Heather Smith in the third inning.
"This isthe best we've done all season, and we're hot right now."
Hurler Kerri Endler (eight hits, two strikeouts, one walk) scored the Bandits' final run to make it 6-3 in the seventh. Endler scored from third on second baseman Michelle Ackerman's throwing error.
Losing pitcher Stacey Matcuk (four hits, four strikeouts) was relieved by MelanieScharf, who allowed a run and two hits in four innings of work.
Kim Sheridan's (3-for-3) fifth-inning two-run homer brought Wagner's to within 5-2, and her sixth-inning double made it 5-3, but the third inning had already proven her squad's undoing.
In that frame, the Bandits' defense of Dunleavy, third baseman Chris Winters, catcher Nicole Meister and first baseman Jennifer Kisiner stopped three scoringchances by Wagner's.
The first came after Jen McKeldin singled and then advanced on consecutive passed balls. However, the next batter, Erin Sutton, hit into a force out, and McKeldin was caught in a 6-2-5 rundown on her way home.
Then, with runners on second and third, Heather Smith and Amy Jakubowski each grounded out.
After defeating Wagner's last Sunday, the Bandits blanked two Pennsylvania teams,2-0, in the afternoon semifinal and 8-0 in the evening championship game.
Saturday's 5-3 victory over the Newark Destroyers set up thebattle with Wagner's.
Endler went 3-0 in the tournament, giving up just eight hits. Teammate Jen Schmittle picked up the victory against Wagner's, giving up just one hit in 3 1/2 innings before being relieved by Endler.
The tournament's heavy hitters were Dunleavy (4-for-9, four RBI), Cannon (4-for-8, three RBI) and Cris Reddish (5-for-8, two RBI).
The Bandits, now tied with Wagner's for the league lead, will face a tough Riviera Beach I squad tomorrow. Wagner's takes on the Tangerine Machine.