Kissimmee, Fl - Philadelphia (6-19) and USSSA (7-14) came into this series in a battle for the final spot in the Championship Series in Akron. It was the Force that was able to make the first blow in game one.
Philadelphia scored first in the contest in the top of the first inning. Clare Burnum led off the contest with a walk. Jami Lobpries would then follow with a two run home run off Monica Abbott (1-4) who had just returned from a stint with the US National Team.
Three innings later the Force would strike again in the fourth. Brette Reagan would be issued a one out walk. Trena Peel would follow with a double. Clare Burnum would then execute a perfect safety squeeze to score the pinch runner Lillian Hammond. After a Lobpries walk, Megan Gibson would help out her efforts to pick up her first win of the season in the circle. Gibson’s single would give the Force a 4-0 advantage.
The Pride would have their best chance to score in the 5th inning. Rookie Breanne Javier would lead off the inning with a walk. Jessica Williams would come in to pinch run for her at first. Caitlin Lowe returning from the US National Team would follow with a single. Williams was able to score as Kristen Schanke reached on an error by the second baseman Emily Friedman. Gibson was able to get help from a base running error. Kretschman laser hit to left field was caught by Danielle Kinley and she doubled up Caiitlin Lowe at third. Courtney Bures would strikeout looking to end the Pride’s threat in the 5th inning.
USSSA would have another opportunity in the 6th inning. Amber Jackson lead off the inning with a single. Oli Keohohou would then come to the plate to cut the deficit to one. Her two run homerun would place her in a tie for the NPF lead in homeruns this season. That would not end the threat as Jessica Dignon was able to reach on an error by the shortstop Audrey LaFountain. The Force would have four errors on the contest. Megan Gibson would again get herself out of the jam. She was able to get an out as Caitlin Lowe would reach on a fielder’s choice as Dignon was caught in a rundown trying to advance to home. Schnake would then end the inning striking out swinging.
The Force would add to their lead in the 7th inning. Gibson would lead off the inning with a double. DeDe Justice would then get her first hit of the night. The two started off an inning where Philadelphia would produce three runs on four hits.
The Force win moved their team within one game of USSSA for the fourth and final spot in the NPF Championship Series. The five game series continues tomorrow at 7:05 PM at USSSA Pride Park. Tickets are available at USSSAPride.com. Sundays contest is scheduled for 12:05 PM at Disney Wide World of Sports. Tickets for Sundays game are available on Ticketmaster.com.