2017 NPF

Championship Series

August 17-20


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Houston, Texas-- After edging the Arizona Heat 3-1 in Thursday night’s contest, the Texas Thunder arrived at Big League Dreams Sports Park with the same goal in mind: take the win and move one game closer to winning their first regular season series. But, the Arizona Heat used flawless defense, aggressive hitting and consistent pitching to accomplish their own goals instead.

The Heat scored early and often in this contest as right fielder Lauren Bauer (inset photo) spurred the offense with her single in the top of the first. Second baseman Nicole Thompson and third baseman Toni Mascarenas followed suit with infield singles of their own and Bauer scored to plate the first Heat run. The run scored on a throwing error by Thunder second baseman Lindsay Gardner (Katy HS/UT) after she made a great diving stop in the hole, only to see her throw sneak past the outstretched glove of first baseman Karrie Rider (Mississippi State.) Heat catcher Jackie Coburn and first baseman Phelan Wright both singled to plate Mascarenas and Thompson and the Heat closed out the inning with a 3-0 lead.

The Thunder bats heated up in the bottom of the third as centerfielder Kristen Zaleski (Texas State) laced a triple to the right field wall. Third baseman Clare Burnum (Oregon State) then flew out to deep centerfield to score Zaleski and Burnum collected her first and only RBI of the night. Catcher Crystal Krebs (UCCS) then reached first base after getting hit by a pitch and Shortstop Adrian Gregory (Texas A&M) grounded out to third base to end the inning.

The Heat added an insurance run in the top of the fourth as left fielder Cheryl Schaefer scored on Thompson’s single to centerfield. The Heat then added two more runs in the top of the fifth as shortstop Tara Knudsen and designated player Erica Beach doubled to right field. Felicity Willis and Becky Turi then pinch ran and scored off of Beach’s hit and Schaefer’s single. The additional two runs would prove all the support the Heat needed as Pitcher Michelle Green retired the next eight out of ten batters.

The Heat improved to 5-4 on the year as Green earned the win and pitcher Mayumi Mayumi Murakami (Japan) took the loss as the Thunder fall to 1-1 on the season.

Story by: Callye Williams