Lowell, MASS--The New York Juggernaut received another solid performance by league leader in wins and strikeouts, Peaches James, tonight against the Riptide. James tallied six strikeouts in her tenth victory of the season behind a powerful Nauts offense. Trena Peel led the way with three hits, an RBI, and a run saving diving catch in right field. Teammates Carri Leto and Ryan Realmuto also provided timely hits to secure the Juggernauts seventh consecutive win, pushing the team to 20-3 on the season, tied for first place with Akron and Chicago.
Lisa Iancin got the Riptide started in the bottom of the first inning, smacking a line drive past the glove of Peaches James. The next pitch was drilled into right field by Lindsay Angus, giving way to NPF batting leader, Kellie Wilkerson, who followed with a single to right field. On the play, Peel made an accurate throw to catcher Realmuto who gunned down Iancin, who was rounding third base. Peaches then struck out clean up hitter Sarah Anderson for the second out of the inning. Three singles for the Tide wasnt enough, as James shut the door on shortstop Stephanie Best, inducing a fly out to left field.
Leah Nelson led off the top of the second inning with a one hopper to left field. Trena Peel then slapped a ball to the shortstop for a single, advancing Nelson to second base, but the seven through nine batters stranded the runners to keep the score at zero.
Watley led off the top of the third inning with a single up the middle. Carri Leto then successfully advanced Watley over to second base with a slap to the left side. With two outs, Ryan RBI Realmuto drilled a 2-2 pitch into left field, scoring Watley and giving the Nauts the early 1-0 lead, her 17th RBI on the season. Peel followed two batters later and drove in a Realmuto from second base with a single up the middle for the second run of the game.
Riptide catcher, Jess Allister, roped a ball off the left field wall to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning with a stand up double. The next better hit a fly out to right field, advancing the runner. With one out, Lisa Iancin executed a perfect suicide squeeze, scoring pinch runner Botto from third base, cutting the Nauts lead in half, 2-1.
Leah Nelson led off with a walk and Trena Peel followed with her third single of the day to lead off the top of the sixth. Laura Taylor came in to pinch hit and the Riptide countered with a pitching change, Casey Hunter for Danielle Henderson. With no outs and two runners on, Taylor hit a small pop up to the first baseman. Hunter then struck out Kim Ogee and induced Pasquerella to ground out to third base, successfully getting out of the jam.
In the Riptide half of the sixth, Wilkerson led off with a walk. The next batter, Anderson, flied out to left field before shortstop Best chopped a single over the glove of Carri Leto, advancing Wilkerson. A double steal put both runners in scoring position for Ashley Moore, who got to first base with a walk. Trena Peel then made a diving catch in right field and immediately got the ball into Realmuto for the second out of the inning. James came up huge with a three pitch strikeout to Allister, who doubled off of her in her previous at-bat, ending the Riptide threat.
The Nauts were able to get an insurance run in the top of the seventh. Watley got on a base with an error by the pitcher and then stole second base. Leto hit a ball past the diving Riptide third baseman, and the speedster Watley scored from second base, making the score 3-1 in favor of the Nauts.
The Nauts return home to Hofstra University Softball Stadium on Wednesday, July13th as they host the Venezuelan National Team. On Thursday July 14th, the team will travel to Pates Park in Allentown, PA for an off-site game. For tickets or for more information, please call 516-485-0141 or visit the Juggernaut online at www.nynjjuggernaut.com.
Score by Innings...........................................R H E
New York Juggernaut.........
002 000 1 3 8 0
New England Riptide
........000 010 0 1 7 3
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Photo credit Dave Saffran