Allentown, PA – The bats were alive for both the Philadelphia Force and the Rockford Thunder on Saturday night at ECTB Stadium, but the Thunder escaped with a 5-3 win that kept the Force from claiming a four-game sweep.
Both teams came out swinging in the first inning. Kristen Zaleski started off the game with a walk. Audrey Rendon advanced Zaleski to second with a hard single down the left field line. Lindsay Gardner moved Zaleski and Gardner up a base with a sacrifice bunt. This set the stage for Tonya Callahan who knocked in the first two runs of the game with her single to left field.
The Force (17-7) responded in the bottom of the first with two outs. Wilkerson started the surge with a solo home run to right center field. Chelsea Spencer reached on an error by starting Thunder pitcher, Serena Settlemier. Settlemier then hit Savannah Long with a pitch, putting two runners on for Megan Gibson. Gibson put two more runs on the board with a single that scored Spencer and Long.
The Thunder (11-13) did not let a one-run deficit slow them down as they tied the game in the top of the second. Amanda Williams hit a one-out double to left field. Beth Boden did not waste any time scoring Williams when she crushed a hard single down the left field line.
The Thunder scored what would be the game winning run in the fourth inning when Stephanie Fischer scored on a Force error. The Thunder added a security run in the fifth when Callahan hit a solo home run to left center field.
Starting Force pitcher, Margo Pruis (3-2) took the loss for the Force. Pruis gave up five hits and four runs, one of which was unearned.
Settlemier picked up the win for the Thunder. Settlemier (1-4) pitched a complete game and struck out four Force batters.
For the Force, Kellie Wilkerson, Gibson, and Emily Friedman each had two hits.
Callahan led the Thunder offense with two hits and three RBIs.
The Force will head to Chicago next week as they take on their next NPF opponent, the Chicago Bandits. The following week, the Force will host the Bandits at ECTB Stadium for a four game series that will begin on July 21 and conclude on July 24. The theme for the series will be Family, Fun, and Fitness.