ST LEON-ROT (REUTERS) - Holders Europe were level 2-2 with the United States after sharing the honours in the opening foursomes matches at the 14th Solheim Cup in Germany on Friday.
Europe's points came from English pair Melissa Reid and Charley Hull and the German-Scottish combination of Sandra Gal and Catriona Matthew while the Americans countered through Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson.
The best performance of the morning came from Gal, 30, and the 46-year-old Matthew who beat Stacy Lewis and Lizette Salas 3 and 2 in Match Four thanks to a run of five birdies in the last 11 holes.
The American mood in that encounter was summed up when world No. 3 Lewis, the highest-ranked player in this week's event, missed a short putt at the 14th.
Hull gave an unforgettable performance as a 17-year-old rookie in Europe's victory in Colorado in 2013 and carried on in the same vein in partnership with Reid.
She ended the contest in thrilling style, holing a long putt from the fringe of the green at the 17th.
"I needed that putt because I hadn't holed anything all day from the short ones," said the 19-year-old. "We both played really well and I'm buzzing to get out there again."
In the top match, two dropped strokes on the front nine from Scandinavians Suzann Pettersen and Anna Nordqvist gave the momentum to the Americans as Pressel and Creamer scored a 3 & 2 win.
Kerr and Thompson opened with three birdies in the first six holes in Match Three against Karine Icher of France and Spain's Azahara Munoz and the Europeans slipped to a 2 and 1 defeat despite staging a fightback with three birdies in a row at the 13th, 14th and 15th.