2017 NPF

Championship Series

August 17-20


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Houston, Texas-- Saturday's rematch between the Texas Thunder and the Arizona Heat proved nothing more than a pitching duel between Thunder ace Christa Williams and Heat hurler Erica Beach. The teams squared off again at Big League Dreams Sports Park in front of a capacity crowd after each squad claimed a victory in the previous two meetings.

The Thunder looked as though they might get on the board first when center fielder Kristen Zaleski (Texas State) reached second base on a dropped fly ball by the left fielder. She then advanced to third on second baseman Lindsay Gardner’s (UT) ground ball to the pitcher. But, shortstop Adrian Gregory (Texas A&M) ended the inning on a strike out and Zaleski was stranded on third base.

In the top of the third right fielder Kim Nesloney (UH) made a spectacular diving catch to rob second baseman Nicole Thompson of a double but, third baseman Toni Macarenas reached first on a single and catcher Jackie Coburn walked to put runners on first and second. Williams then enticed first baseman Phelan Wright to pop up to first base and the Heat stranded two runners to end the inning.

Both pitchers held their opposition scoreless as the innings wore on, but the Thunder struck first in the bottom of the fifth inning. First baseman Keri Rider (Mississippi State) singled and left fielder Erin Evans’ (Oklahoma) sacrifice bunt moved her safely to second base. Centerfielder Kristen Zaleski (Texas State) drove a towering shot to centerfield to plate Rider and Zaleski earned her first and only RBI of the game. Nesloney struck out and Heat catcher Jackie Coburn caught Zaleski stealing third to end the inning.

The Thunder held on with a final score of 1-0. Williams earned the victory with a stellar pitching performance and improved her record to 2-0 while the squad took a 2-1 lead in the series. Heat pitcher Erica Beach took the loss and moved to 1-1 in the series. The two teams will square off again tomorrow afternoon, Sunday, June 12, at 1 p.m. on Wrigley Field to see if the Thunder can claim their first series win of the regular season.