Lowell, Mass.-- The New England Riptide and Team Venezuela met for the third time last night at Martin Softball Field in Lowell, the Venezuelans attempting to avenge the previous two nights losses.
Starting for the Tide was Megan Matthews who played for the Riptide last year. Matthews came out of retirement for this series to replace regulars Jocelyn Forest and Leigh Ann Ellis who are competing for the USA Elite team in Canada for ten days. Matthews was spectacular, allowing just one unearned run and three hits, two of them infield hits.
The game was almost a carbon copy of the night before, all the runs being scored in the first inning. This time, though, it was Venezuela that scored in the top of the first. Lelis Gomez led off the first by beating out a bunt down the first base line on a close play at first. After Maria Soto grounded to short, sending Gomez to second, Lyndsey Angus committed an error, bobbling a ball at third, allowing runners at first and third. Matthews then struck out Mayret Perez on a great change-up, but when Venuzuela attempted a double steal with two out, Sarah Andersen overthrew home allowing Gomez to score.
The Tide got the run plus one more back in the bottom of the inning when Angus led off with a hard single down the left field line and moved to third on Lisa Iancin's bunt. Stephanie Best singled to score Angus and scored herself on Andersen's double to deep left center. Like the night before, the first inning was the only scoing one of the game and also like the night before, Venezuela made it exciting in the seventh, putting runners on first and second before Matthews struck out Zuleima Rodriguez to end the game.
The two teams play again for the fourth and final time tonight at 5:05 at Martin Softball Field, a make up for Wednesdays rained out game. Next Wednesday the powerful NY Juggernaut come to Lowell for a four game series. The Juggernaut currently sport a 15-3 record, losing once each to the Riptide and Venezuela. Thursday July 7 is Oldies 103 night when the Oldies 103 van will be at the game. Additional field day games will be available for kids. For this game, gates will open 1/2 hour earlier, at 5pm.