Stockton, Calif. The California Sunbirds walked away with a series tying win on Monday, June 28, as they beat the visiting New England Riptide, 2-0, with a walk-off homerun off the bat of designated player, Cindy Ball. With the win the Birds improve to 8-14 overall while the Riptide fall to 8-15 on the season.
Up until the bottom of the seventh inning, both teams had combined for only four hits in a game dominated by pitching. With a 1-0 count and a runner on first, Ball changed the pitching duel into batting practice as she drove a line drive homerun over the center field wall to end the game and the Sunbirds current two game slide. Ball picked the best time to uncork her first professional homerun and her first hit of the game as she helped her fellow pitcher, Jodie Cox, earn her fourth win of the season with a complete game three hit shutout.
The Riptide were never able to threaten Cox throughout the night as the furthest they were able to reach was second base. Two of New Englands three hits came in the first two innings and their third hit came in the seventh. In between, Cox was able to silence the Riptides bats, allowing only three walks.
Cox, who was unable to save last nights game for Ball, pitched a gem as she gave up no runs on three hits while striking out three. Equally impressive, despite the one mistake to Ball, Dana Sorensen was able to shut down the Birds until the final two innings giving up just two runs on three hits while striking out four.
Both teams will be back in action tomorrow, June 29, as they will play the rubber match of their three game series.