KIMBERLY, Wisc. Needing to win three straight games on Sunday to win the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Championship, the Rockford Thunder got things started off right with an impressive 5-0 win over the New England Riptide.
Not only was it a win for the Thunder, it was also the second no-hitter of the tournament, as Olympic Gold Medal winner Cat Osterman didnt allow a hit to New England.
The win for the Thunder advanced them to the championship game where theyll have to beat the Washington Glory twice to win the trophy. Washington advanced to the title game by beating the Thunder in the teams opening game 4-0 and then knocking off the Riptide in the nightcap 2-1.
New England, who entered the Championship Series, as the third seed went 1-1 on Saturday to fall to the losers bracket. The loss eliminates them from postseason competition.
Rockford got on the board with two runs in the top of the third inning using three singles. Jackie Wong got things started off with an infield single and two batters later moved to second on a single by Audrey Rendon. A walk to Mackenzie Vandergeest loaded the bases for Kim Wendland who stepped up and delivered a two-RBI single to left field.
The Thunder plated three more runs in the top half of the fourth inning. Rendong picked up her third hit of the game in the fourth to score Jamie Davison who walked to lead off the inning. Vandergeest was involved again in the scoring, this time doubling down the left field line to score Wong and Rendon.
For Osterman it was her first no-hitter of the season. She didnt allow a runner to get to second base in the game and allowed just three base runners. Two hitters reached in the game on errors and the third on a walk in the sixth inning.
The championship game with the Glory will begin at approximately 3:15 p.m. CDT at Sunset Park in Kimberly, Wisc. The game will be carried on the internet at www.profastpitch.com or by visiting www.fdlpodcasting.com.