Lowell, Mass The New England Riptide and the Philadelphia Force met to conclude their four-game series Saturday night at Martin Softball Field. The Riptide shut out Philadelphia in a 5-0 victory.
Jocelyn Forest started the game pitching for New England. Forest has been solid in the circle for the Riptide this season and extremely successful against the Force, recorded as the winning pitcher in both New England wins over Philadelphia.
With Stephanie VanBrakle in the circle for Philadelphia the game quickly became a pitchers duel. The Riptide managed to contain the Force at the plate; facing only three batters an inning after the first, but was quieted offensively by the Philadelphia defense. VanBrakle carried a no hitter through the fourth inning, while Forest gave up only one hit in four innings pitched.
The New England offense came alive in the bottom of the fifth tearing through the Philadelphia defense. Jen Scavone led off and was handed a walk by VanBrakle. Lindy Winkler sent a base hit over the head of shortstop Chelsea Spencer ending VanBrakle's no hitter. An error by Spencer on a ball hit by Kristin Allain allowed the Riptide to load the bases. Destiny Frankenstein was next to the plate sending the ball over the head of centerfielder Stacie Pestrak just short of the wall. Frankenstein's hit cleared the bases scoring Winkler, Scavone and Allain putting the Riptide on top 3-0. The Riptide rally didn't end there, Kristine Botto was entered to pinch run for Frankenstein and Kristin Vesely stepped up to the plate with one out in the inning. Vesely blasted a double into right centerfield that scored Botto increasing the Riptide lead 4-0. Vesely advanced to third on the
Philadelphia attempt to throw Botto out at home. Vesely's hit prompted
VanBrakle's exit from the game and Jennifer Stewart came in to pitch in relief for the Force. Designated player Tarrah Beyster flied out to Pestrak in center but allowed enough time for Vesely to tag up and score putting the Riptide on top 5-0.
The Riptide's brilliant play at the plate carried over to the field in the top of the sixth. Forest walked leadoff batter Pestrak but Carri Leto hit into a fielder's choice allowing Frankenstein to throw Pestrak out at second. Spencer lined out to Jackie Pasquerella at third and Pasquerella turned the double play throwing to Angus at
first for the out on the advancing Leto.
Forest took the circle in the top of the seventh and crushed any Philadelphia hope of a late in the game rally. Lynsey Grace was entered to pinch hit for Ryan Realmuto and was handed a strikeout. Ashley Smith entered to pinch hit for Lindsey Cameron and was struck out swinging for out number two. Kristine Himes was the third pinch hitter of the inning entering for Jaime Dacey. Forest struck Himes out looking for the third out of the inning. The Riptide went on to win
the final game 5-0, taking the series three games to one. Forest earned nine strikeouts and recorded her seventh pitching victory of the season.
The 'Tide are on the road starting Wednesday July 12 visiting Philadelphia to face off in another four game series with the Force.