TUCSON, Ariz. Despite giving up two homeruns to California, Heat pitcher Erica Beach earned a complete-game victory for Arizona 5-2 giving her team their longest win streak in team history.
California struck first in the top of the fourth inning on a Cindy Ball solo-homerun to give the Sunbirds a 1-0 lead.
Arizona answered right back in the bottom of the fifth when Wendy Allen hit a hard line drive off the right field fence. Becky Turi, who reached base on a fielders-choice single, came around to score. On the throw home to get Turi, California catcher Jaime Wohlbach misplayed the ball and Allen came around to score from second giving Arizona the lead 2-1.
I was just trying to turn on it and let it go, said Allen. It feels good to do my job. Im not trying to think about the numbers, just moving the runners. Thats my job.
California made it a game in the top of the sixth. Kristen Voak stepped up and hit the first pitch she saw over the left field fence tying the game at two apiece. That would be the last hit Beach allowed thanks to a little defense by Katie Gutierrez who robbed Jaime Foutch of a base hit with a diving catch sparking the defense.
Arizona reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the sixth. With one out and runners on first and second, Wohlbachs attempt to pick-off Otten at second went into the outfield and Otten would come around to score giving Arizona a 3-2.
Arizona wasnt finished yet. With the bases-loaded, Allen hit a two-run single giving Arizona a 5-2 lead. She finished the night going 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored.
Were just trying to get the Ws and take it one game at a time, said Allen. Once we get a focus, it helps a lot and our focus is to make the playoffs.
Prior to the sixth inning rally, Sunbird coach Tim Kiernan was ejected from the game for arguing with the home-plate umpire. It was unknown what was said by Kiernan to warrant an ejection.
Arizona moves to 16-29 while California drops to 12-34. Beach picked up her sixth win of the season, tops for the Heat and good enough to vault her into the top 5 in the league.
Arizona travels to Texas to take on the Thunder for a four-game series.
The Arizona Heat is part of the six-team National Pro Fastpitch softball league. They play their home games at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, Arizona. For tickets or information about the team or league, call (520) 296-9595 or visit www.tucsonsoftball.com.