LOWELL, Ma. - The Michigan Ice came to Lowell to for the first time last night to take on The Riptide in the first game of a four game set. It would ace Jenny Mackson for the Ice against Erica Beach for the Riptide. Beach sports a 5-2 record and 2.12 ERA, although she did not pitch well in her last outing at Philadelphia and did not figure in the decision. This time neither starter was around past the third inning and it was Riptide reliever Danielle Henderson and the Riptide prevailing 5-2.
The teams traded doubles in the first inning, the Riptides by Shanel Scott with no body out, but neither team was able to capitalize. Things fell apart for Beach in the second, though as she was not able to find the plate. Beach walked Kim Biskup to lead off the inning. Next, Charity Butler bunted and Garland Coopers throw to second base was just too late to get Biskup. Two more walks spelled the end for Beach as she walked in the first run of the game for the Ice. It was here that Henderson came in to relieve Beach. On the first pitch, KJ Kelley fired the ball to Jackie Pasquerella to pick Butler off third, a huge out. Henderson retried the next two batters to limit the damage to just one run.
The Ice went up 2-0 in the third after Henderson retired the first two batters. A walk to Amanda Jensen followed by back to back singles by Biskup and Butler did the damage.
The Riptide came back to take the lead for good scoring five in the bottom of the third. This time it was Mackson who be knocked out quickly. Shanel Scott led off with a walk and immediately stole her league leading 20th base of the year. Garland Coopers ground out moved Scott to third. With Lynsdey Angus up and Scott on third, the squeeze was on. It was a suicide squeeze, lucky for the Riptide as Angus bunt went no more than five feet in front of the plate. Catcher Becky Manson attempted to get it and tag out Scott, but Scott slid under the ball for the Riptides first run. Ariel Jenkins, the Ice center fielder kept the Ice ahead for the moment by robbing Carrie Leto-Martin of a hit, diving to snare her line drive. Kelley received a two out walk and on the first pitch to Gina Carbonatto, faked a steal of second. Manson threw down to Jensen as Angus raced for the plate, but Jensens throw was off line as Angus tied the game at 2 all. Singles by Carbonatto, Tarrah Beyster, Jess Merchant and a walk to Pasquerella eventually increased the lead to 5-2.
Meanwhile Henderson cruised through the fourth and fifth inning, striking out two in the fourth and striking out the side in the fifth, sixth and seventh. The Riptide threatened again in the fifth with runners at second and third, but again were unable to increase the lead.
The Riptide improve to 14-11 and Henderson to 4-3. She threw 5.2 innings, striking out thirteen while giving up one run on five hits.
This is the beginning of a 12 game, three week home stand for the Riptide. They take on Michigan again on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Martin Softball Field, all games at 7:05.