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2017 NPF

Championship Series

August 17-20

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Riptide Sweeps Sunbirds

Lowell, Mass.-- The New England Riptide completed the sweep of the California Sunbirds Sunday night at Martin Softball Field with a 3-0 victory.

Former Olympian and UMass star Danielle Henderson pitched a three-hit shutout while striking out 13. Henderson was outstanding on the weekend, pitching two complete game victories and saving another. Altogether, Henderson's numbers this weekend were 16 innings pitched, one run allowed, and 24 strikeouts. Henderson is now second in the league in strikeouts with 42 in only 32 innings pitched.

Henderson and Sunbird starter Laura Severson were locked in a 0-0 game until the bottom of the fifth when Jess Merchant grounded out and Sara Jewett hit a sharp single up the middle for a single.

Then Lyndsey Angus hit a two-hopper back to Severson's backhand for what looked like a sure second out, however the ball popped out of Severson's glove for an error.

Lisa Iancin followed with something even stranger. Fighting off pitches with a 1-2 count, Iancin hit one off the end of the bat that hit to the right of Severson and in front of second baseman Teresa Flores. This looked like another out until the ball took a strange hop and spun out of everyone's reach for an infield hit that loaded the bases for Kellie Wilkerson.

Wilkerson came through, as she often does, with a "no-doubt-about-it" line drive single into right to score Jewett.

Sarah Andersen drove in run number two, drawing a walk after Severson got her 0-2. An Ashley Courtney sac fly to center scored Iancin to complete the scoring for the inning and the game.

This weekend was also marked by other significant happenings. Michigan shortstop Jessica Merchant joined the team fresh from her victory in the College World Series and got her first two hits as a pro.

Rookie Ashley Courtney had a breakout series, going two for three on Friday and three for four on Saturday. The Riptide (7-3) now have a few days off before hosting the Texas Thunder (6-2) in a four game series beginning next Thurday at 7:05.