August 4, 2008 - ROCKFORD, Ill. - Lindsay Gardner scored once and drove in two, and Allison Kime allowed just one earned run in Rockford's 5-3 win Monday night. The win, combined with losses by Akron and New England, push Rockford one game closer to earning a playoff bid.
The New England Riptide (17-20) struck first with a run in the first inning, as Carri Leto-Martin singled to lead off the frame. She came around to score off of a two-out Lyndsey Angus single to left-center. After the Riptide finished off the first, the umpire crew called for a halt to the game for severe lightning strikes in the area.
An hour and 51 minutes later, Erin Evans was finally able to step in the batters' box to lead off the bottom of the first. Three walks and three hits later, the Thunder (16-21) found themselves up 4-1 with no outs. The runs came off of bases-loaded singles by Gardner and Sandy Vojik, each of whom got two RBIs in the inning.
Rockford would go on to score again in the bottom of the second inning. Evans reached base to lead off for the second straight inning, this time by singling to center field. After Evans stole second base, she was driven in by a Tonya Callahan single to left field.
While that was all the scoring Rockford managed, Allison Kime was more than up for the challenge of keeping New England at bay. After the rain delay, Kime did not allow a single earned run, and gave up just two unearned runs in the seventh to earn her team-leading eighth win of the season. She struck out ten batters overall, including four looking K's. Eileen Canney (10-8) struck out seven over six innings for New England.
The victory moves the Thunder back to within two games of fourth-place Akron, and Rockford is one game behind the Riptide. The top four teams in the NPF make the playoffs, which are held annually in Kimberly, Wis.
Rockford and New England will play three more times this week, including Tuesday night at 6:35 at Players Park in Roscoe. Serena Settlemier (2-8) is expected to pitch against Erica Beach (1-5). Tickets are just $5, and can be purchased at the gate beginning an hour prior to first pitch.