ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Katie Burkhart took to the circle in game two of the Force’s first home stand of the season. Benefiting from solid run support, and a personal effort of 11 strikeouts, she was able to lead the Force (2-5) to their second win of the summer over the Chicago Bandits (9-3) in front of a crowd of 1,577 fans at ECTB Stadium.
Trena Peel began the scoring for the game when she plated Clare Burnum on a single up the middle to put Philadelphia up 1-0. The Force was able to string together three hits in the inning by Burnum, Emily Friedman, and Peel against Bandit starter Kristina Thorson.
After another three up-three down inning for Burkhart, Philadelphia would score five runs in the bottom half of the second to put the pressure on the defending champion Bandits. Auriel Jenkins, Jami Lobpries, and Danielle Kinley would set the table for the top of the order by successfully loading the bases. Coming through in the clutch were Burnum, Friedman and DeDe Justice, all recording RBIs in the inning.
The Bandits would get their first base runner of the evening with one out in the top of the 3rd. Jennie Finch reached on an error, but Burkhart would continue to dominate, including a second strikeout of reigning player of the year, Stacy May.
Thorson and rookie, Brandice Balschmiter would hold the Force in check for the rest of the inning, keeping them at their 2-inning total of six. On this evening, however, it would be enough with Burkhart’s dominance in the circle keeping Chicago in check.
The Bandits would touch Burkhart for a run in the 4th on an RBI single by Nicole Trimboli that scored Aileen Morales. They would add two more runs in the 6th on a single by Kristie Fox and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Caitlin Lever. Burkhart would settle down in the 7th and close out the game, by retiring the side and earning the complete game victory.
Burkhart’s line for the night read seven innings, four hits, three earned runs, 11 strikeouts and four walks. It was a much needed dominating performance to get the Force back on the winning side of things.
The two teams will square off again Thursday night in Allentown. First pitch is scheduled for 7:35 PM. Tomorrow's game can be viewed live on the internet by going to http://www.philadelphiaforce.com/live.