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2017 NPF

Championship Series

August 17-20

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Force Take Two From China

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The Philadelphia Force took two games from the China National Team tonight. The Force edged China 4-2 in the completion of Thursday’s suspended game, and then followed with a dramatic 6-5, 10-inning victory in the originally scheduled game.

Thursday night’s game was suspended in the top of the fourth inning with score 0-0. The game was continued this evening and the Force got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, shortstop Chelsea Spencer singled. Third baseman Clare Burnum was hit by a Wang Lan pitch. First baseman Kellie Wilkerson knocked in Spencer and moved Burnum to third with a double to left center. Burnum then scored on a wild pitch.

In the sixth, the Force would add two more runs. Right fielder Trena Peel led off the inning with a single. Red-hot Spencer drove her in with a triple to right field. Burnum doubled off the right field fence to plate Spencer.

China would chip into the lead in the seventh with a two-run home run by Wu Di.

Kristina Thorson (2-2) went the distance to pick up the victory. She gave up four hits and struck out five China batters.

In the scheduled game that followed, Spencer scored from second base on a bunt single by Burnum to break a 5-5 tie in the 10th inning. Spencer started the inning on second base under the International Tie Break Rule. Burnum put down a perfect bunt which rolled between the pitcher and the charging first baseman to the area vacated by the second baseman who was covering first on the play. The speeding Spencer was sent home by third base coach John Byrne as the first baseman picked up the ball. The throw home beat Spencer but she leaped over the catcher’s tag to give the Force the win.

Down 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Force (4-6) scored three times to send the game to extra frames. Left fielder Megan McAllister led off the inning with a double to left field. One out later, second baseman Emily Friedman drew a walk. Center fielder Sharonda McDonald singled up the middle to load the bases. The next batter Peel singled in one run and the bases were still loaded. China pitcher Li Qi retired Spencer and faced Burnum with two outs. Burnum hit a ball that alluded shortstop Li Chunxia and two runs scored on the error.

Meagan Hennessy (1-0) picked up her first professional win in relief. The NPF rookie pitched 4 1/3 innings of scoreless ball and recorded five strikeouts.

The Force continue their series against Team China on Saturday with a 7:05 p.m. scheduled start time.

-PHL-