TUCSON, Ariz. The New England Riptide scattered six hits on the Arizona Heat, but only needed the one provided by Tara Knudsen in the top of the third inning; a two-run homerun to give the Riptide the lead and the victory 2-1.
New England threatened in the first by loading the bases, but Heat pitcher Danielle Henderson (3-2) got out of the jam. Henderson earned the loss, her first at home since being traded to Arizona. She pitched a complete-game, striking out four but giving up the homerun.
Arizona cut the lead in half in the top of the sixth inning but failed to bring anymore runs across, and never threatened again.
Jocelyn Forest (11-10) picked up the win that extended the Riptide lead over Arizona for the fourth and final playoff berth. They lead by 4.5 games. The win also eliminated the California Sunbirds from playoff contention.
Knudsen led all hitters going 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. She also was a threat on defense with three putouts and one assist.
Wendy Allen had another double for the Heat, giving her a league-leading 11 on the season. She was also provided the Heats only run off a Tara Beyster pinch-hit RBI single.
The Arizona Heat (17-35) head out for a three-game series with the Akron Racers, then return home for a four-game series against the NY/NJ Juggernaut. On Wednesday, Aug. 18th, Arizona and NY/NJ will play a make-up game at 6:05 p.m. followed by the regularly scheduled game.
The Arizona Heat is part of the six-team National Pro Fastpitch softball league. They play their home games at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, Arizona. For tickets or information about the team or league, call (520) 296-9595 or visit www.tucsonsoftball.com.