Lowell, Ma. – The New England Riptide, looking for a sweep of the Venezuelan Olympic team fell short as they could not stop Venezuelan bats, despite a valiant effort at the end, and dropped a 10-7 decision to fall to 6-6 on the year.
Venezuela got on the board in the first inning. Forest began by walking Maria Soto and that was followed by an infield hit by Yaicey Sojo. After a sacrifice that advanced the runners and a strikeout, the Riptide could not prevent an unearned run as a pitch skidded off KJ Kelley’s glove for a passed ball.
The Riptide got it back and then some in the second to take a 3-1 lead. A walk to Lisa Iancin began the inning. Lisa Modglin followed with a single. An attempted double steal was thwarted for the first out, but KJ Kelley was hit by a pitch to put runners back on first and second. Carrie Embree, Jackie Pasquerella and Gina Carbonatto singled consecutively to give the Riptide the lead.
After that it was all Venezuela as they rebounded from scoring only one run in the previous two games. Altogether they pounded out 13 hits as neither Jocelyn Forest nor Eileen Canney could stop the onslaught.
The Riptide did not go quietly. Down 10-3 in the bottom of the sixth, Jess Merchant blasted a three run home run to pull the Riptide within four. The seventh saw the Riptide load the bases, down 10-7, but could not quite complete the comeback. Pasquerella was 3 for 4 on the day and Lisa Modglin and Carrie Embree had two hits each. Embree also made her professional pitching debut in the seventh retiring the Venezuelans.
The Riptide continue their long home stretch this week when College World Series stars Megan Gibson and Katie Burkhart come to town with the Philadelphia Force to take on the Riptide on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. All games are at 7:05 at Martin Softball Field.