Lowell, Mass Strong defensive play helped the New England Riptide squeeze past the Arizona Heat to take the first game in a series of four, 2-1. Jocelyn Forest started the game in the circle for New England. Forest
has been the Riptide's most successful pitcher this season compiling an 11-2 record with two saves in ten starts and currently leads the league in pitching wins.
After an error by Lisa Iancin allowed Heat leadoff batter Catalina Morris on board the Riptide tightened up on defense. Lindy Winkler made an impressive diving catch on a foul ball to retire Nichole Thompson for the second out of the inning. Lyndsey Angus put the inning away fielding a hard hit ball off the bat of Kaleo Eldredge and stranding Morris on base.
Arizona pitcher Desiree Serrano contained the Riptide at the plate through the first inning. KJ Kelley was the first to Serrano for a hit in the bottom of the second, sending a double to the left field wall. The Riptide bats were unable to bring Kelley home leaving the game deadlocked at 0-0 after two innings.
Jackie Pasquerella helped to put the Riptide on the board in the bottom of the third. Destiny Frankenstein singled with one out in the inning giving New England a base runner. Angus was next to the plate hitting into a fielders choice, Frankenstein was initially called out at second but Riptide field manager Sharon Drysdale appealed the call.
The umpires overturned the call ruling that second baseman Thompson did not have control of the ball at second for the force out on Frankenstein. Pasquerella batted next laying down a sacrifice bunt, an error on the throw by first baseman Crystal Farley allowed Pasquerella on safely. Farley?s erroneous throw allowed Angus to advance to third and scored Frankenstein putting New England on top
1-0. Pasquerella stole second to put two runners in scoring position with only one out but Arizona quickly put the inning away.
The Heat answered the Riptide run in the top of the fifth. Toni Mascarenas led off with a single, the first hit of the game for the Heat. Jackie Coburn was next to the plate laying down a sacrifice bunt advancing Mascarenas to second. Farley singled scoring Mascarenas to tie the game 1-1. The Riptide defense shut down Arizona at the plate after the run scored ending the inning with Farley still on second.
New England saw another big scoring opportunity in the bottom of the fifth. Frankenstein led off with a triple down the right field line but Arizona quickly warded off the scoring threat. Angus was next to the plate flying out Ladonia Hughes in centerfield. Frankenstein attempted to tag up and score but was thrown out by Hughes at home. Third baseman Mascarenas caught a line drive off the bat of Pasquerella to put the inning away.
Kelley helped the Riptide recapture the lead in the bottom of the sixth. With one out in the inning the Heat decided not to test their luck against designated player Tarrah Beyster intentionally walking her for the second time during the night. Kristine Botto entered to pinch run for Beyster. Lisa Iancin sacrificed to Serrano advancing Botto to second. Kelley was next to the plate singling into right
field scoring Botto to put the Riptide on top 2-1.
The Tide are back in action tomorrow, Thursday August 3 at 7:05 pm for game two with the Arizona Heat. The game will be taped live by Fox Sports Net New England and aired at a later date.