Lowell, MA - The Philadelphia Force dropped a 2-0 road decision to the New England Riptide (11-7) Thursday night. Riptide pitcher Erica Beach held the Force (6-8) to just three hits and did not walk any batters.
Hard-luck rookie pitcher Stacy Birk (1-5) was outstanding in the circle for the Force. She pitched a complete game and yielded only three Riptide hits.
The Riptide scored their first run in the third inning. With one out, left fielder Shanel Scott knocked a single. After stealing second base, she would move to third on a Birk illegal pitch. First baseman Garland Cooper then drove in Scott with a single. The second Riptide run would be unearned as a result of a miscue on a catcher-to-pitcher exchange.
Second baseman Emily Friedman was moved up to the leadoff spot for the Force and she stroked one of the three singles Beach (5-2) allowed. Friedman also continued her solid defensive play in her first year at second base since playing mainly third base last year. She had three assists and three putouts.
Shortstop Chelsea Spencer, now batting .463, singled in the seventh inning for the Force and continues to lead the league in the hitting.
Kellie Wilkerson had the other Force hit.
The Force look to halt their two-game skid Friday night when they meet the Riptide for game three of the four-game series. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05
p.m. at Martin Softball Field in Lowell.