Allentown, Pa. The Washington Glory used two long balls to defeat the Philadelphia Force by a score of 4-3. With the win, the Glory moved two games ahead of the Force in the NPF standings.
The Glory struck very early on starter Megan Gibson. Lead-off batter Nicole Barber sent Gibson’s third pitch of the game off of the top, and then over, the center field fence for her fifth home run of the season. The defending champions would add another tally in the first frame as Jessica Moore doubled to follow Barber. Two outs later, she was still at second base when Sara Larquier sent a ball through the legs of Emily Friedman at second base, and Moore came around to score an unearned run.
In the bottom of the second, the Force gave their crowd a chance to make some noise. Gibson worked a walk off of Washington starter Taryne Mowatt to begin the inning. After an out, Gibson swiped her second base of the season. But she wouldn’t say there for long, as Trena Peel hit a bomb to deep right field to make the score two-all. For Peel, it increased her team lead in home runs as it was number eight for her.
In the fourth inning, the Glory power game would strike again. The season and all-time NPF home run leader, Oli Keohohou, tagged a pitch to right field for her 12th home run of the year.
The Glory (24-13) added an addition run in the top of the sixth. Amber Jackson reached on a one-out single and promptly stole second base. After Gibson sat down Larquier on strikes, Cambria Miranda was sent in a pinch hitter for Leah English. The Force had a chance to retired Miranda as she flied a fly ball to foul territory in left field. Savannah Long made an all-out diving effort for the ball, but it popped out of her glove as she bounced hard off of the ground. Miranda made the Force pay but sending the next pitch up the middle to plate Jackson.
Not going down easy, the Force (22-15) cut the lead in half in their turn in the sixth inning. Sharonda McDonald’s speed forced Mowatt to rush a throw to first base and the ball sailed by Keohohou. The fleet of foot McDonald easily made it to second base. Kellie Wilkerson moved her to third base with a deep fly ball that was hauled in by Catalina Morris. With Chelsea Spencer at the plate, a Mowatt pitch bounced to the backstop and McDonald came home with their third run.
Mowatt (2-4), who won the series finale in Washington on Monday, went the first six innings and picked up the win. She allowed three runs on three Force hits. Sarah Pauly danced out of some seventh-inning trouble to pick up her first save.
Gibson (7-4) was solid in the circle for the Force. The rookie went all seven innings and scattered eight hits. Of the four runs she allowed, one was of the unearned variety.
Game two of this critical four-game series is tomorrow at On Thursday, July 31, the first 100 people at the gate will receive a Diamond Dollar to receive a “Cup of Dirt” dessert and a chance to win other prizes.Thursday will also be Dollar Dog Night. The Player Passion will be Jodie Cox