Lowell, Mass-- The New England Riptide and Venezuelan National Team concluded their four game holiday weekend series yesterday afternoon at Martin Softball Field, with the Venezuelans hoping to salvage one game out of the series. It would be Danielle Henderson for the Tide, winning pitcher in the game on Friday against Lelis Gomez, making her first start this series for the Venezuelans.
Venezuela scored first, the result of an error by Stephanie Best, unable to field a ground ball off the bat of Maria Perez. She was forced at 2nd by Denisse Fuenmayor and then Lisa Iancin made a spectacular play that saved a big inning for Venezuela.. Henderson deflected a ball hit hard up the middle by Mayrosa Ocanto. Iancin switched directions, caught the ball in midair and got enough on it to get out Ocanto. This was significant when the next batter, Nidia Pineda, singled to left to score Fuenmayor. Henderson was able to avoid any further damage by striking out Sofia Pimental as Venezuela took a 1-0 lead.
The score remained fixed until the bottom of the 4th, when Venezuela starter, Lelis Gomez, who had gotten herself out of a few jams earlier failed to do so this time. Sarah Andersen led off with a walk (one of 11 issued by Venezuelan pitching, some intentional) and Stephanie Best made up for her earlier miscue by doubling of the wall in left field. Andersen was thrown out at the plate on Ashley Moore's ground ball back to Gomez and then Moore was thrown out at second trying to take an extra base, however through all this Best was able to race home to tie the score.
In the fifth, walks cost Venezuela again as eventual losing pitcher Mariangee Bogado walked leadoff batter Lyndsey Angus. One out later, she walked Kellie Wilkerson and one more out later, gave an intentional one to Best. That set the stage for Ashley Moore who came through with a line double to left center to score two and put the Riptide up for good 3-1.
Meanwhile Henderson was outstanding again for the Riptide as she improved to 5-3 on the year. She scattered three hits and struck out 11 to raise her total to 74, third in the league.
The Riptide improved to 12-6 and take on the NY Juggernaut this week in a four game home series that will certainly have playoff implications. The Juggernaut come in with an impressive 16-3 record, having just swept the Texas Thunder. The series begins Wednesday, July 6th and continues July 7th, 8th and 9th. All games begin at 7:05pm.