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Force win first-ever playoff game; advance to semis

Force get win in first-ever playoff appearance
Defending champs one loss away from elimination
KIMBERLY, Wis.  – Philadelphia scored seven runs, committed five errors and escaped a bases loaded jam through the meat of the Glory order to win its first-ever playoff game on Friday night in round one of the National Pro Fastpitch Championship Series. 
The Force defeated Washington 7-4 to advance to the semifinals, where they will take on the Chicago Bandits who defeated the New England Riptide earlier in the night 4-1.
Philadelphia’s first inning started off with a bang as Clare Burnum led off the inning with a smash to left field, but she was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double. The hits continued for the Force in the inning as Sharonda McDonald and Kellie Wilkerson hit consecutive singles putting runners on the corners. After a strikeout of Chelsea Spencer for the second out of the inning, Jenna Hall was hit by a pitch to load the bases. With the bases loaded Mowatt unleashed a wild pitch allowing the first run to score. On the very next pitch Savannah Long delivered a massive three-run home run increasing the score to 4-0.
The Force added single runs in each of the next three innings, including solo home runs by Chelsea Spencer and Kristen Miller to up its lead to 7-2.   Wilkerson, Miller and Burnum each collected two hits in the game for the Force.
Washington wouldn’t go quiet as they scored two runs in each the fourth and seventh innings, primarily because of the five Force miscues.
Katie Burkhart went the distance for the Force and allowed four hits in the game. She also struck out 10 and all four runs allowed were unearned. 
The Glory’s Taryne Mowatt started the game, but lasted just 1/3 of an innings, as she allowed five of the six batters she faced to reach base. The big blow off of Mowatt was the three-run home run by fellow rookie Long. Mowatt’s overall line was 1/3 inning with four runs on four hits.
Desiree Serrano relieved Mowatt for the Glory and gave up three runs on six hits over the final 5 1/3 innings. She also allowed two homeruns in the game.
For last year’s Cowles Cup Champion, the Washington Glory, they will hope to avoid elimination on Saturday afternoon when they take on New England at Sunset Park in Kimberly.
NOTES:  Washington pitcher Sarah Pauly was scratched from the scheduled start 30 minutes prior to the start of the game. There was no report provided on whether an injury had occurred. 
                     1          2          3          4          5          6          7          R         H          E
Glory             0          0          0          2          0          0          2          4          4          0
Force            4          1          1          1          0          0          x          7          10        5
NPF Playoff Schedule
Friday, August 22, 2008
Game 1 – Chicago Bandits, 4 vs. New England Riptide, 1 – FINAL
Game 2 – Philadelphia Force, 7 vs. Washington Glory, 2 – FINAL
Saturday, August 23, 2008
(Probable Starting Pitchers)
Game 3 – New England Riptide (Erica Beach) vs. Washington Glory (Sarah Pauly) – 3 p.m.
Game 4 – Chicago Bandits (Kristina Thorson) vs. Philadelphia Force (Megan Gibson) – 5:45 p.m.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Game 5 – Winner Game #3 vs. Loser Game #4 – 12 p.m.
Game 6 – Winner Game #4 vs. Winner Game #5 – 2:45 p.m. (CHAMPIONSHIP)
Game 7 – IF GAME
Tickets can be purchased online at A series pass is just $35. Passes for Saturday’s action only is $15 and Sunday passes are $25.
About National Pro Fastpitch
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL).