Lowell, Mass Danielle Henderson earned her sixth pitching victory of the season against the Arizona Heat in game three. The Riptide went on to a 4-3 victory leading the Heat in the series three games to none.
Nichole Thompson helped put the Heat on the board in the top of the fourth. Riptide pitcher Henderson hit Arizona leadoff batter Catalina Morris with a pitch giving the Heat a runner on board. Ladonia Hughes laid down a sacrifice bunt advancing Morris to second. A single by Thompson was all it took to bring Morris home giving Arizona an early 1-0 lead.
The Riptide quickly answered Arizona, capturing the lead in the bottom of the first. Desiree Serrano began the game in the circle for the Heat for her third straight appearance after recording the loss in both games one and two. Lindy Winkler, Jackie Pasquerella and Lyndsey Angus hit consecutive singles to load the bases for New England bringing up designated player Tarrah Beyster. Beyster hit into a fielders choice allowing Arizona shortstop April Valdez to throw Winkler out at the plate. Heat catcher Coburn turned the double play throwing to first for the force out on Beyster but Pasquerella came home on the throw tying the game at 1. Angus remained on second with two outs in the inning. KJ Kelley was next to the plate sending a double into deep left field scoring Angus to give New England a 2-1 lead.
Winkler increased the Riptide lead in the bottom of the second. Lisa Iancin led off with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Kristin Vesely walked and stole second putting two runners in scoring position for New England. Winkler was next to the plate singling into left field scoring Iancin to give the Riptide a 3-1 advantage. Vesely attempted to score on the play but was tagged out at home.
Toni Mascarenas tied the score with one swing in the top of the third. Leadoff batter Morris reached on a throwing error by Henderson. Pasquerella picked up a bunt off the bat of Hughes throwing Morris out at second. Thompson grounded out to Pasquerella advancing Hughes to second. Mascarenas was next to the plate sending a two run homer over the left field wall tying the game at 3.
Pasquerella helped the Riptide recapture the lead in bottom of the fourth. Vesely led off with a double and Frankenstein laid down a sacrifice bunt advancing Vesely to third. Pasquerella stepped to the plate and slap bunted reaching first safely and scoring Frankenstein putting New England on top 4-3.
Riptide pitcher Jocelyn Forest came in to relieve Henderson in the top of the seventh. Forest faced the top of the Arizona order and earned consecutive strikeouts against Morris, Hughes and Thompson ending the game and sending the Riptide to a 4-3 game three victory.
The Tide are back in action tomorrow, Saturday August 5 at 7:05 for the final game of the series with the Arizona Heat.