Allentown, Pennsylvania - The Philadelphia Force were victorious in their third consecutive game against the Texas Thunder, improving their record to 3-4 on the season. Force pitcher Stephanie VanBrakle went the distance earning her second win on the season.
After collecting six hits last night, the Sarah Fekete (1-for-4, 1 R) and Carri Leto (2-for-4, 2 R) combo proved to spark the Force offense once again, compiling 3 hits and 2 runs. In the bottom of the first inning the duo slapped singles to the left side. Chelsea Spencer (2-for-4, 3 R, 1 RBI) hit a line drive to the second baseman for a Texas out. Jenna Hall (2-for-2, 1 RBI) registered an RBI with a base hit up the middle to score Fekete, putting the first run of the night on the board for the Force. With runners on the corners, right fielder Jaime Dacey grounded out to second base, scoring Leto for her fourth RBI on the season.
Julie Watson and Karrie Rider hit back to back singles for Texas in the top of the third inning, before Serena Settlemier drove in the first run of the game for the Thunder, bringing them within one run of the Force.
In the bottom of the third inning Spencer scorched a single to left field. Hall executed a sacrificed bunt to put Spencer in scoring position. VanBrakle stroked a single to center field earning her first RBI on the season, extending the Force lead to 3-1.
In the top of the fifth inning Texas Julie Watson singled with a slap to left field. Rider sacrifice bunted advancing Watson to second base. The inning ended with Kristen Zaleski hitting a ground ball to VanBrakle, who got the out to end the Thunder threat.
The Force continued to put pressure on the Thunder defense, as Spencer beat out a ground ball to the short stop. Hall roped a line drive that knocked first baseman Settlemier to the ground, as Spencer advanced to third. Lynsey Grace entered the game as a pinch runner for Hall, and quickly stole second base. Grace and Spencer successfully executed a double steal, increasing the Force lead to three. Catcher Ryan Realmuto (2-for-3, 1 RBI) hit an RBI double to score Grace, making the score 5-1.
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, the hot hitting Carri Leto doubled to left field before Spencer traded places with her for her second RBI of the year. Hall walked on four straight pitches to put two runners on for Shippensburg graduate Dacey, who singled to score Spencer.
With the Force ahead 7-1 in the top of the seventh inning, Texas managed to load the bases with one out. VanBrakle stuck out Big XII Player of the Year Settlemier put the Force within one out of their third consecutive win. Gardner hit a ground ball past Friedman for an RBI single, putting the Thunder within five runs. VanBrakle walked in the third run for Texas, but induced Dahlberg to a fly out to right field to end the game.
The Force will look to complete the series sweep of the Thunder in the final game of the home series on Saturday, June 17 at ECTB Stadium at Bicentennial Park, home of the Philadelphia Force.