Roscoe, Illinois- Savannah Long scored from third base on a seventh-inning
wild pitch to push the Philadelphia Force to a 3-2 win over the Rockford
Thunder. With the win, the Force moves another step closer to securing a
berth in the NPF playoffs.
With Megan Gibson in the circle for the Force, Erin Evans of the Thunder
started the bottom of the first by drawing a base on balls. Amanda
Williams moved her to second base via the sacrifice bunt. A wild pitch
moved Evans to third before Tonya Callahan reached on a walk. Lindsay
Gardner followed Callahan with a double down the left-field line to plate
In the fourth inning, the Force (25-16) tied up the ballgame. With
one-out, Kelly Wilkerson, who leads the league in hitting with an average
of .407, reached on a base on balls. Chelsea Spencer moved Wilkerson to
third base with a double. The next batter, Trena Peel, singled to center
field to score Wilkerson and Spencer.
The game remained tied until the top of the seventh. Back-to-back singles
by Long and Miller started the winning frame. Emily Friedman put down a
successful bunt to advance both runners. Thunder pitcher Allison Kime then
induced Clare Burnum into a groundout to third which held the runners in
place. But with McDonald at the dish, Kime uncorked a pitch that got by
catcher Savannah Brown, and Long raced home with the winning run.
Gibson (8-4) put the Thunder (17-24) down 1-2-3 in the seventh for her
eighth win in 12 professional decisions. The rookie from Texas A&M struck
out seven in the complete game. She allowed the two runs on four
For Kime (9-7), she pitched seven innings and gave up three runs on seven
hits. Kime struck out six batters.
As for the play situation, the Force will capture a playoff berth with one
more win and one more loss from either the Akron Racers (19-22) or the New
England Riptide (19-22). The Chicago Bandits (25-16) have the exact same
scenario as the Force. The Washington Glory (26-15), who have a one game
lead over the Force and Bandits, clinch a position with their next win, or
a Racers or Riptide loss. The Thunder, on the other hand, remain two games
out of the last and final playoff spot, behind the Racers and Riptide.
The Force and Thunder, who each have seven games remaining in the regular
season, meet for game two at 7:35 p.m. ET on Saturday. The teams play game
three on Sunday at 4:05 p.m and game four on Monday at 7:35 p.m.