Allentown, Pa.- Philadelphia Force pitcher Kristina Thorson (13-4) struck out 14 Michigan Ice batters enroute to a 6-1 victory for the Force in front of 513 fans at ECTB Stadium. The win puts the record for the Force at 23-17, good for fourth place in the tight NPF standings. The Force will host the New England Riptide August 16-19 to complete the regular season.
The Ice got on the board in first inning off of Thorson after she struck out the leadoff batter. Second baseman Amanda Jenson was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a wild pitch. Shortstop Becky Manson knocked in Jenson with a single to give the Ice their first, and only, lead of the series.
In the third, the Force would gain the lead. A walk to the newest member of the Force, catcher Jennifer Wellborn, and back-to-back infield hits by third baseman Clare Burnum and center fielder Sharonda McDonald loaded the bases. An Emily Friedman come-backer to the mound resulted in a force out at the plate. Shortstop Chelsea Spencer drilled Megan Browns next pitch up the middle, and Burnum and the speedy McDonald easily scored to give the Force the 2-1 advantage.
The Force added two in the fifth. Burnum led off the rally with her second hit of the game. After an out, Friedman singled to move Burnum to third. Spencer followed her with a shot through the wickets of Ice shortstop Manson and into left center. Burnum and Friedman scored, with Spencer being credited with one RBI on the play, her third of the night.
On a chilly night at ECTB that felt more like October than August, Thorson was hot in the circle. The 14 Ks is a professional high for Thorson, as well as a Philadelphia Force record. Her 13 wins also is a Force record.
Megan McAllister blasted her second home run of the season with Trena Peel on base increasing the Force lead to 6-1 after six innings.
The Force will be off until Thursday at 7:05 p.m. but until then they will be doing scoreboard watching as two series, Bandits/Glory and Racers/Riptide, will be taking place this weekend that will go a long way to determine the standings heading into the final series with the Riptide.
Force fans are reminded that there is a pep rally to be held on Saturday at Starters Riverport from 9-11 p.m. There is another pep rally to be held on Wednesday at the Allentown Brew Works from 5-7 p.m. Come out and meet and greet the team as they prepare for the battle with the Riptide.