Lowell, Mass The New England Riptide fell flat in game three in the four game series with the Texas Thunder dropping the game 6-3 and falling behind one game to two in the series.
New England came out swinging in the top of the first. Leadoff batter Kristin Vesely singled to left field and advanced to second when Jackie Pasquerella grounded out to Clare Burnum at third. Texas pitcher Serena Settlemier handed a walk to designated player Erica Beach with two outs and a single by Lisa Iancin loaded the bases for the Riptide. KJ Kelley sent a long fly ball to left field but it was not far enough to clear the wall and was caught by Kelly Osborn for out number three.
The Riptide defense contained the Thunder at the plate through the second inning but Texas stormed back in the top of the third. Adrian Gregory was handed a lead off walk by pitcher Erica Beach but was picked off at first by Kelley. Kristen Zaleski singled with two outs starting the Thunder rally. Zaleski stole second and Nina Lindenberg walked putting two on for Texas. Iancin made a tremendous play diving to stop a single off the bat of Osborn behind second base but it was not enough to stop the Thunder as Zaleski scored on the play giving Texas a 1-0 lead. A single into left field by Karrie Rider scored Lindenberg putting the Thunder on top 2-0. Rocky Spencer was next to the plate hitting to Destiny Frankenstein who stepped on second for the out on Rider to end the inning.
Kelley helped the Tide roll back in the bottom of the third. Pasquerella led off with a single and Settlemier handed consecutive walks to Winkler and Beach to load the bases for New England. Iancin sent a sacrifice fly into centerfield that allowed enough time for Winkler to advance while Pasquerella tagged up at third and scored cutting the Thunder lead to one, 2-1. Tiffany Stewart entered to pinch run Beach and stole second. Kelley was next to the plate sending a hard hit ball into left field scoring both Winkler and Stewart giving the Riptide a 3-2 lead.
The Thunder quickly regained the lead in the top of the fourth. Burnum led off with a single putting the tying run on for Texas. Gardner laid down a sacrifice bunt and an error on the throw by third baseman Kristin Allain allowed Gardner to advance to third while Burnum scored tying the game at 3. A base hit by Gregory scored Gardner giving Texas a 4-3 lead. Beach walked Dahlberg and Zaleski loading the bases for the Thunder. Danielle Henderson came in to relieve Beach with the bases loaded and one out in the inning. The Thunder continued to roar through the inning. Lindenberg stepped to the plate with bases loaded and doubled to left centerfield scoring Gregory and Dahlberg putting Texas on top 6-3.
The Riptide began to rally again in the bottom of the seventh with two consecutive hits by Pasquerella and Lindy Winkler. A controversial call had next batter Erica Beach out on an infield fly. The Thunder quickly ended the Riptide rally with consecutive outs on Iancin and Kelley to take the 6-3 victory.
The Tide are back on Martin Field tomorrow Saturday August 19 for the final game of the series with the Texas Thunder.