Allentown, Pa.- The Philadelphia Force was beaten by the Rockford Thunder, 6-4, in the final tune-up game before their final eight-game push for the NPF playoffs. The game which did not cut in the standings featured both teams using multiple pitchers and each team recording seven hits.
The Thunder struck in the first inning. Kristen Zaleski started the game by singling of the glove of a leaping Chelsea Spencer at shortstop. She then stole second base and moved to third on a groundout. Zaleski came home on a passed ball to give the Thunder the early 1-0 lead.
In the second, the Thunder added the lead. Two errors by the Force allowed the first two batters to reach base. One run would score on a single by Jackie Wong while another scored on a sacrifice fly by Zaleski.
The Force scored their first run in the fourth inning. Clare Burnum plated pinch runner Jaime Dacey, who stole second base and moved to third on a wild pitch, with a clean single up the middle.
Amanda Freed drove in Audrey Rendon in the fifth inning to make the score 4-1 Thunder.
In the bottom of the fifth frame, the Force would cut the lead to two. The speed of Sharonda McDonald would lead directly to a run. She led off the inning with an infield single and then stole second base and third base. The NPF rookie scored on a fielders choice ground ball of Spencers when she beat the throw from third base to the plate.
The score would remain at 4-2 until the seventh inning. The Thunder scored two times in the top of the inning, the last run coming on a Mackenzie Vandergeest sacrifice fly.
In the bottom of the seventh, McDonald started off the inning with an infield single. The speed of the center fielder would help her steal second base and advance to third on a wild pitch. Spencer would single, plating McDonald making the score 6-3. Spencer went to second base on the throw home and then advanced to third base after a throwing error by the catcher. First baseman Jenna Hall would single down the first base line for the third hit of the inning, scoring Spencer, putting the Force within two runs.
Serena Settlemier re-entered the game in the seventh inning at pitcher getting the Thunder out of a jam by recording the final two outs of the game.
The Force started with Stacy Birk in the circle and finished with Meagan Hennessy, while the Thunder countered with Settlemier starting and ending the game, with Abbie Sims and Cassidy Scoggins handling the pitching in between.
The Michigan Ice come into Allentown August 8 through August 10 to play a four game series with Thursday being a day/night doubleheader. This series marks four of the last eight games for the Force in the regular season.
Please plan on making a trip to ECTB stadium to cheer on the Force to an NPF playoff berth. Game time for Wednesday is 7:05 p.m.