Lowell, Mass The New England Riptide was back in action Friday night at Martin Softball Field on a night that saw Shonda Schilling, Red Sox star Curt Schilling's wife, throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The Riptide took the field for the third in a four game series with the Akron Racers. New England ended up falling to the Racers 8-4.
New England started the game off strong defensively. With one out and Akron's Kristen Johnson on first, Riptide pitcher Mariangee Bogado fielded a hard hit ball by Caitlin Benyi. Bogato threw to Destiny Frankenstein at second to get Johnson out on the force. Frankenstein turned the double to end the inning throwing to Lyndsey Angus at first for the out on Benyi. The Riptide defense remained consistent through the second inning. Lisa Iancin fielded a hard hit ball by the Racers Brandee McArthur with Oli Keohohou on first. Iancin threw to Frankenstein at second for the force out on Keohohou and Frankenstein turned another double throwing to Angus at first to retire McArthur.
Despite strong defensive play the Riptide were quieted at the plate by Akron pitcher McArthur. Designated player Tarrah Beyster was knocked down by a pitch hitting her helmet in the top of the first inning, but was examined and reentered the game to bat in the third.
The Racers were first on the board breaking through the Riptide defense in the top of the third. With one out in the inning Akron's Amber Hall hit a triple into deep center field. Bogado walked Johnson putting two on for the Racers. Benyi put Akron on the board sending a three run homerun over the centerfield fence to make it 3-0 Racers.
As the Riptide struggled to find their bats offensively through the fourth inning the Racers took the opportunity to increase their lead. Butler leadoff in the top of the fifth with a single, Kim Gonzalez was entered to pinch run. Hall singled and Iyhia McMichael walked to load the bases for Akron. Johnson was next to the plate sending a double into right centerfield scoring both Gonzalez and Hall to put the
Racers on top 5-0. Benyi hit into a fielder's choice allowing Frankenstein to throw to catcher KJ Kelley who tagged McMichael out at home. A single by Keohohou scored Johnson increasing the Akron lead by one, 6-0.
The Riptide was not quieted for long, coming alive at the plate in the bottom of the fifth. Bogado pinch-hit for Frankenstein sending a base hit over the head of Akron second baseman Benyi. Frankenstein reentered to run for Bogato. Consecutive base hits by Kristin Vesely and Jackie Pasquerella loaded the bases for the Riptide. Lindy Winkler hit into a fielder's choice allowing third baseman Stephanie
Pomes to throw Frankenstein out at home but kept the bases loaded for New England. Beyster was next to the plate sending a double out to the center field wall that scored Vesely, Pasquerella and Winkler cutting the Racers lead to three, 6-3.
Lisa Iancin cut the Akron lead again in the bottom of the sixth blasting a solo homerun over the left field fence to make it 6-4 Racers. Despite their late rally at the plate the Riptide could not shut down the Racers offensively. Johnson led off in the bottom on the seventh with a single. Benyi was next to the plate sending a
double into left center field that scored Johnson putting the Racers on top 7-4. New England pitcher Danielle Henderson came in to relieve Bogado following Benyi's double. Keohohou was next to the plate sending a single past Iancin that scored Benyi giving the Racers an 8-4 advantage.
The Riptide could not come up with a seventh inning rally and dropped the game 8-4 falling behind Akron in the series one game to two. The 'Tide will look to take the final game of the series from the Racers Saturday night at 7:05 pm.