ROCKFORD, Ill. The Thunder started the day in second place in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) standings, but after dropping the opener to China 1-0 in eight innings, they fell back down to third place.
The story of this ballgame, like many that Thunder starter Serena Settlemier throws, was a pitchers dual. Li Qi, Chinas starting pitcher, went all eight innings allowing just two singles to the Thunder, while Settlemier was almost as good allowing only five hits in the game.
China came up with the big blow in the top of the eighth inning after Tan Ying led off the inning with a single. She moved to second on a groundout and eventually came in to score the game-winning run on a two-out double by China right fielder Yu Yanhong.
Rockford (21-12) only had one runner reach second base in the game. Jackie Wong single in the third and stole second, but was left stranded on the base paths. Amanda Freed collected the only other hit in the game for the Thunder.
Settlemier, who fell to 9-5 on the season, was very effective all night. She recorded 14 fly ball outs and six strikeouts in the game.
The Thunder will return to action tomorrow night at 6:35 p.m. CDT at Sportscore One for game two of the four-game series with China. This weekends games are the final home games of the regular season for the Thunder. Amanda Freed is the expected starter for Rockford in the circle.