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Thunder Beat China 3-2; Move Back to Second Place

ROCKFORD, Ill. – The Thunder needed two home runs and a solid defensive play from Erin Evans to knock off China 3-2 in game three of the four game series.

Rockford (23-12) catcher Mackenzie Vandergeest got the offense going in the bottom of the second inning with a mammoth home run to left centerfield. The most impressive thing about the home run was it was Vandergeest's first swing since last Sunday in Chicago as she had been out for personal reasons.

China would tie the game at one a piece in the top of the third inning, but the tie wouldn't last long. Kim Wendland hit a blast to right field in the bottom of the third giving the Thunder the lead at 2-1.

Thunder pitcher Abbie Sims was unable to hold the lead for the Thunder, as China tied it up in the top of the fourth.

The game would remain that way until the bottom of the sixth inning when last night's hero, Amanda Freed, stepped up huge again. After Kristen Zaleski tripled to right centerfield, Freed delivered the game-winning RBI ground out to shortstop. The RBI was Freed's fourth RBI in the last two games.

Evans made the defensive play of the night by doubling up the Chinese runner at the plate for the third and final out of the game.

Relief specialist Cassidy Scoggins recorded the win for the Thunder to improve to 4-0 on the season. Serena Settlermier came on in relief of Scoggins in the seventh to record her second save of the year.

The Thunder will close out the home regular season tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. against the Chinese National Team. The gates at Sportscore One will open at 2 p.m.

Serena Settlemier will close the home season for the Thunder in the circle.

For more information on the Thunder or to purchase season or individual tickets for the 2007 season, contact Aaron M. Moore at (815) 965-7000 or For additional information on the team, visit them on the web at