Allentown, PA - Behind the superb professional debut of Megan Gibson, the Philadelphia Force shut-out the visiting New England Riptide 3-0. The Force (6-2) and Riptide split the four game series.
On a hot and steamy night in Allentown, Gibson (1-0) was just as hot in the circle for the Force. Gibson pitched a complete game, three hitter to pick up her first win. She struck out nine batters while only walking one.
In the bottom of the first inning, it did not appear that the game was going to go the Force’s way as Riptide center fielder, Gina Carbonatto made three outstanding defensive plays to keep the Force off the board. Lead off batter, Clare Burnum, hit a deep ball to center field that Carbonatto reached over the fence, robbing Burnum of a home run. The next batter, Chelsea Spencer, was robbed in similar fashion as Carbonatto again reached over the center field fence to take away another would-be Force home run. The third batter of the inning, Megan Gibson, tried to drop one in front of Carbonatto, but the quick center fielder made a diving catch while charging towards the infield.
The Force did get on the board in the top of the second when Jenna Hall blasted a home run off of starting pitcher Erica Beach (0-2) to right-center field just past the outstretched arms of Carbonatto. This was Hall’s first home run of the season.
The Force added two insurance runs in the fourth inning. Trena Peel led off with a single, Emily Friedman sacrificed her to second, and Ashley Smith singled through the left side to score Peel with the Force’s second run. Michelle Tatlock and Sharonda McDonald followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases. Burnum lifted a fly ball to shallow right field but the return throw to the infield from Lisa Modglin got away and Smith hustled home.
From there, Gibson was able to shut down the Riptide (3-5).The game can be viewed on Fox Sports Net this coming Thursday from 3-5 p.m. ET. The Force will be back at ECTB Stadium this Wednesday to face Olympic contender, China. All tickets are $8.