ROCKFORD, Ill. It wasnt the prettiest game of the season, but the Thunder will definitely take another win, tonight defeating the defending NPF Champion New England Riptide by a final score of 8-2.
Rockford (7-0) took full advantage of the New England (1-4) pitching in game one of the four game series to jump out the early lead. Riptide starter Erica Beach struggled from the outset, as she walked five batters in her one-plus inning of work to get the loss. Danielle Henderson relieved Beach in the second inning, but had some of the same struggles. She walked just one, but she allowed three hits and five earned runs in the contest.
The Thunder scored two runs in the first, three in the second and three again in the third to account for all eight runs. Five different players scored at least one run in the game, while Kristen Zaleski, Audrey Rendon and Jessica Williams all came in to score two runs.
Fourth-year player Lindsay Gardner paced the Thunder offense on Thursday night, as she finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Rendon also came up with two big hits on the night to raise her season average to .278.
Amanda Freed got the start for Rockford in the circle and she went the first 3 2/3 innings of the game. She was just one out away from qualifying for her first win of the 2007 season. Her start also marked the second time this season that a Thunder starting pitcher was removed from the game without allowing a single hit.
Rookie pitcher Cassidy Scoggins, now 2-0, came on in the fourth inning to relieve Freed and went the remainder of the way to secure the victory. Scoggins pitched the final 3 1/3 innings, allowed four hits and her first earned run of the season.
All 16 players on the Thunders active roster saw action in the game.
The Thunder will be back in action tomorrow night for game two of the series with the New England Riptide. Game time is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CDT and the game will be carried live on the internet at www.thunderprofastpitch.com.