Lowell, Mass--The New England Riptide opened a four game series with the Venezuelan National Team last night at Martin Softball Field. The highly regarded Venezuelans, the most dominant team in Latin America over the past few years, won the South American championship last year, narrowly missing a berth in the Athens Olympics, losing out to Team Canada in the final qualifying game. The Venezuelans did not play up to their ability Thursday, however, and the Riptide ended the night winning 11-1. Ten Riptide hits and three Venezuelan errors contributed to the rout.
Venezuelan starter Mariangee Bogato lasted only two innings, giving up seven of the runs. On the other hand, Casey Hunter, pitching her first game in the NPF for the Riptide, held the Venezuelans to five hits and the one run. Hunter had just arrived from Tallahassee yesterday, helping to fill in for Jocelyn Forest and Leigh Ann Ellis who are away for three weeks competing on the USA Elite Team in Canada.
The Riptide scored five runs in the first with the help of Jen Scavone, Kellie Wilkerson (four for four on the night) and Lyndsey Angus, who each had singles. Angus and Jess Allister each contributed two hits for the Tide. The series continues Friday night at Martin Softball Field at 7:05, Saturday at 7:05 and Sunday at 5:05. Fridy night, all attending may enjoy a free hot dog, compliments of the Riptide.