CHANTILLY, VA -- Katie Burkhart improved to 8-3 on the season as she struck out seven Glory batters and allowed only a three-run home run to Catalina Morris, as the Glory dropped the first game of this eight-game split-site series 6-3 at the Westfield Softball Complex.
The Glory got the bats going early, but couldn't put anything together, putting runners on base in every inning except the third inning.
LaDonia Hughes is now third in the league in batting average by going 2-for-3 in the game, raising her average to .329. She had a one-out single in the first and was on base with a hit in the sixth for Morris' fifth home run of the season.
Chelsea Spencer hit her fourth home run of the season in the fourth to get the scoring started. Philadelphia tacked on to the lead in the fifth when Trena Peel hit a two-run home run that appeared to land foul beyond the foul pole in right and a steal of home by Sharonda McDonald putting the Force up 4-0 after 4 1/2 innings.
Morris' home run came in the sixth to make it 4-3 but then the Force came back with two in the seventh off Lisa Ferguson who was relieving for Sarah Pauly (10-3) and then off Pauly who came back in to pitch for Ferguson. Four walks and a hit batter scored two runs for Chicago in the seventh.
The teams will gather again at Westfield on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. with Battle of the Bats taking place at 6:15 p.m. The Glory's Sara Larquier is second in the overall Battle of the Bats standings. After Monday's finale in Chantilly, the teams have a night off then play four games in Allentown, Pennsylvania to complete the series. Both teams are now 21-12 on the season and tied for the top spot in the NPF.