ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Still looking to keep their postseason dreams alive, the Force hosted the Rockford Thunder in game three of the five game series at ECTB Stadium. Two early runs by the Thunder proved to be just enough as Rockford picked up a 2-1 win in front of 507 loud fans.
With Thursday’s loss the Force’s record fell to 8-24, while the Thunder evened their record at 14-14.
It was a tough night overall for the Force as their offense was limited to just two hits in the contest. Defensively Philly was charged with two errors, one of which led to the Thunder’s two runs in the top of the third inning.
The Force’s lone run was also scored on an error in the bottom half of the fourth. With heads-up running from Alex Newton, the shortstop took advantage of a Thunder error to put up a much needed Force run on the scoreboard.
After Newton’s clutch play, the Force was able to get runners on base following a slew of walks by Rockford’s Samantha Sheeley. On the night Sheeley gave up a total of eight walks and just one hit. She also managed three strikeouts as well.
Even with runners in scoring position, the Force could not find that much needed spark at the plate as they went on to strand a total of 11 runners. The only two players to pick up hits Thursday night were Clare Burnum and Jami Lobpries. Lobpries’ lone hit came in the bottom of the seventh, with no outs on the board.
The centerfielder picked up her team’s final hit of the night off of Catherine Osterman, who earned her second save of the season. After surrendering the single to Lobpries, Osterman retired the next three batters to preserve the Thunder’s win.
In the circle for the Force, veteran pitcher Jessica Sallinger did a tremendous job for the Force through the first five innings. Kristin Erb threw the final two innings and allowed just one hit.
Philly returns to action tomorrow evening when they take on the Thunder in game four of the series. Start time is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. EST, and as always can be viewed live on the internet by going to http://www.philadelphiaforce.com/live.