Lowell, MA - It would be Henderson (Danielle) for the New England Riptide vs. Hennessey (Meagan) for the Philadelphia Force, the Riptide looking to win their third straight game of the series.
The Riptide came out strong in the first behind the speed of Shanel Scott. With one out, Scott hit a flare to left and sped to second when it landed between everyone. Walks to Garland Cooper and Lynsey Angus loaded the bases for Lisa Modglin. Modglin lifted a foul to short left. In fact it was short enough for shortstop Chelsea Spenser to make the play. Scott, doing what few could do, tagged and scored when Spensers throw was slightly off target. It is hard to say whether a perfect throw would have gotten her.
The Force got it back in the second on a Kellie Wilkerson single and a two out error when Carri Martin was unable to handle a hard hit ball by Trena Peel. The Riptide struck again for two runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 3-1 lead. Hennessey walked lead off hitter Jackie Pasquerella to start the inning and gave up consecutive singles to KJ Kelley, Alex Sutton and Martin. After Scott popped to right Garland Cooper sent a ball deep to left center narrowly missing a grand slam, but scoring Kelley from third.
The Riptide were not done yet. In the third singles by Modglin, Jessica Merchant and Pasquerella loaded the bases for a Sutton sac fly to right to put the Riptide up 4-1. In the fourth the Riptide defense was put to the test. With one out Henderson issued consecutive walks to Megan McAllister and Claire Burnum. Wilkerson was next and sent a soft line drive into right. Martin came out of nowhere from her position at second base to dive on the ground and make the catch while on her stomach. A Jenna Hall single gave more importance to the catch and loaded the bases for the Force with two outs. Peel was next and hit a long fly into right to back Sutton to the wall. Sutton was able to leap over the wall robbing Peel of the grand slam and the Force of the lead. The Force threatened again in the sixth, but were unable to score.
Henderson picked up her third win of the year against one loss, while Hennessey fell to 1-1. The Riptide look for a sweep tomorrow night at 7:05 at Martin Softball Field. Two Cal Berkeley alumnae, Jocelyn Forest for the Riptide and Kristina Thorson for the Force are the expected starters.