AKRON, Ohio In a three-game series winning the first game is most important, and the Texas Thunder did so by taking game one over the New England Riptide by a final score of 4-1.
Texas Thunder vs. New England Riptide Box Score
Texas got on the board early, scoring the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning on a sacrifice fly to deep centerfield by Kristen Zaleski. Zaleski finished the game with no official at-bats in the game, collecting two free passes and the RBI sacrifice fly.
Left fielder Ashley Moore, who is currently playing with a severely damaged shoulder, got New England on the board in the top of the third inning with an RBI single to left field. Moores single scored Riptide leadoff hitter LaDonia Hughes, who reached base with a single to open the inning.
The one run in the third was all that New England could muster off of Texas pitchers Lindsay Chouinard and Peaches James. Chouinard made the start for the Thunder going 5 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and striking out four. James entered the game after two batters in the fifth inning, and she went on to get the final five outs in the game to secure the save.
Jocelyn Forest took the complete game loss for Riptide, as she gave up five hits in six innings of work. The leagues regular season strikeout leader only struck out one batter in the game.
The big offensive blow came in the top of the sixth inning, when mid-season acquisition Stephanie Ramos launched a two-run homer deep into right center field. Ramos homerun followed an error by shortstop Tara Knudsen that allowed Texas slugger Ryan Realmuto to reach first base.
The same two teams will go at it again tomorrow night live from Akron at 8 p.m. EDT. The starting pitchers have not been announced at this time, but it looks like Christa Williams will take the ball for the Thunder against Leigh Ann Ellis from the Riptide. Catch the action live on www.npf.prosportsradio.com beginning at 6 p.m. EDT when the Akron Racers take on the NY/NJ Juggernaut.
NPF, the worlds premier professional fastpitch softball league for women, consists of six teams located throughout the United States and features former USA Softball Womens National Team members, collegiate All-Americans and all-conference selections. The 2004 season has featured the inaugural NPF All-Star Game, the first-ever NPF Championship Semifinal and the first NPF Championship Series.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Denver, and has been in operation since 1997 under the names Womens Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Womens Pro Softball League (WPSL).