TUCSON, Ariz. The Arizona Heat dropped the opening game of their home stand against the Sunbirds of California 1-0 in front of 668 fans. The Sunbirds now lead the season series 4-3 and have picked up a game on the Heat.
The only run of the game came in the fifth inning. Sunbird pitcher Cindy Ball reached base on a single to center field. Californias Heather Field bunted Ball to second base and after a line-out to shortstop, Ball scored on a single to left-center by Allison Andrade.
Leigh Ann Walker, who was the starting pitcher for the Heat, was nearly flawless allowing only five hits in the seven innings she pitched. She also struck out three Sunbirds in the loss, her third of the season.
Arizona scattered three hits against California but were unable to bring any runners home. They left a total of 11 runners on base, nine in the first four innings. Wendy Allen led the Heat going 2-for-4.
Cindy Ball picked up the win for the Sunbirds, her first of the season, while striking out nine and Jodie Cox earned the save coming in to relieve Ball in the seventh.
Arizona drops to 7-11, while California improves to 6-12.
The Arizona Heat return to Hi Corbett Field tomorrow to take on the Sunbirds in the second game of the series.