Lowell, MA - The New England Riptide returned to action Friday night at
Martin Softball Field after a 12 day layoff to face the Akron Racers in a four game series critical to the playoff pairings. Despite the Riptide being idle, standings changed in many ways during their off time due to a series of controversial rulings by NPF commissioner Cheri Kempf.
The Riptide showed no signs of rust as Eileen Canney won her ninth game of the year against four losses and extended her league leading strikeout total to 128 with 11 more as the Riptide took the first game of the series 3-1. Canney allowed only one hit on the night and walked five.
Starting pitcher for the Racers was ace Jaime Juarez (now 11-5). The Riptide got on board in the bottom of the second with two out when Jackie Pasquerella drew a 3-2 walk and scored on Lisa Iancins double. Racer right fielder, Tracee McCoys throw home to get Paquerella was near perfect, but she slid just past the outstretched glove of Kristin Butler. The Riptide put up two more in the third to take a 3-0 lead thanks in part to a lapse in the defense. With one out Third baseman Norelle Dickson overthrew Gina Carbonattos ground ball allowing Carbonatto to get to second. Carri Martin followed immediately with a triple off the right field wall. Martin scored when she broke for home and Lyndsey Angus laid down a bunt to complete the squeeze.
The Racers got one back in their half of the fourth. Kristin Butler singled up the middle and advanced on a walk to Caitlin Benyi. A wild pitch and double steal led to Sarah Zilles, pinch running for Butler to cross the plate for the Racer run. That was all the scoring for the night as both pitchers held their opposition in check.
The teams play again on Saturday at 7:05, Sunday at 5:05 and the Riptides final home game of the year on Monday at 7:05. On Monday the Riptide will honor superstar Lyndsey Angus.