LOWELL, Mass. The New England Riptide womens professional softball team, sporting a 16-20 record in fourth place, holds a 4 ½ game lead over the Arizona Heat (11-24) for the final playoff spot with 24 regular season games remaining to be played in the National Pro Fastpitch league.
The Riptide host The Heat this weekend in a key three-game series Friday and Saturday night (7:05) and Sunday afternoon (1:05) at Martin Softball Field in Lowell.
Leigh Ann Ellis (South Florida) and Jocelyn Forest (Cal at Berkeley), the New England Riptides two NPF all-stars, each pitched two shutout innings for the East in last weeks inaugural All-Star Game won by the West, 1-0. Game starter Ellis struck out two and gave up only one hit, while Forest fanned two and held the West hitless. Nancy Evans (Arizona Heat) was MVP.
Shortstop Tara Knudsen (Georgia Tech) is one of the hottest hitters in the league and she now leads The Riptide (or is tied for the lead) in RBI (11), doubles (5), triples (1) and home runs (2). Her 11 RBI ranks her eighth in the league. Tara is second on the team in hits (24) and batting average (.211).
The Arizona Heat has obtained former University of Massachusetts star pitcher Danielle Henderson from the Akron Racers.
The New England Riptide tickets are priced at $8.00 for individual games and four-game Flex-Packs also are available for only $28.00. All seating is general admission at Martin Softball Field. Go to www.neriptide.com or call 866-4RIPTIDE to purchase non-group rate tickets. Sponsorship and advertising opportunities also still available.