ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Following a 2 ½ hour rain delay the Force and Rockford Thunder faced off in game two of the five game series Wednesday evening at ECTB Stadium. After a close pitching duel throughout most of the night the Thunder broke the game open in the seventh to secure a 6-0 victory in front of 325 fans.
Wednesday’s tough loss dropped the Force’s overall record to 8-23 on the season, while the Thunder improved their overall mark to 13-14 and evened the series at 1-1.
Making the start in the circle for the Force was Kristin Erb, who went five complete innings. The Lock Haven standout went toe-to-toe with US Olympian Catherine Osterman through the five innings, and allowed just two runs on six hits. Osterman was nearly untouchable Wednesday evening dealing out a total of 14 strikeouts. Pitching the final two innings for Philly was Margo Pruis. Pruis made an impressive sixth inning appearance, but it was in the seventh that the Thunder was able to make contact and earn the final four runs.
At the plate, Jami Lobpries proved to be one of only two Force hitters that could make contact against Osterman. On the day Lobpries went 2-for-3, while Clare Burnum tacked recorded the only other hit for her squad.
On the other side of the park, the Thunder combined for 10 hits against the two Force pitchers. Five of the six runs were earned as the Force was charged with two errors. Shanel Scott, who has proven to be one of the fastest runners in the NPF went 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored. She was joined by Amanda Wilson, Shanna Diller, and Chelsea Spencer. The trio combined for five RBI’s and two runs scored respectively.
Wednesday’s contest was deadlocked at 0-0 through the first two innings. Rockford broke the scoreless draw in the top of the third on an RBI single. They then made it a 2-0 game two innings later on another single.
In the seventh, back-to-back two run base hits gave the Thunder the breathing room they needed. Osterman closed out the contest in dominant fashion in the bottom half of the seventh to even the series at 1-1.
The Force return to action tomorrow evening at 7:35 p.m. at ECTB Stadium for game three against the Thunder. Tomorrow’s contest can be viewed live on the internet by going to http://www.philadelphiaforce.com/live.