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2017 NPF

Championship Series

August 17-20

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Thunder Continue to Roll

Houston, Tex-- The Texas Thunder bats continued to stay hot on Friday, as they collected their second win over the Russian National Team to improve to 2-0 on the series.

The Thunder jumped on the board first, when right fielder Kim Nesloney reached first safely on a throwing error by the Russian shortstop. Nesloney stole second and third baseman Clare Burnum walked to put runners on first and second.

Designated player Crystal Krebs singled to plate Nesloney and then advanced safely to second on the throw to the plate.

With runners on second and third, shortstop Adrian Gregory singled and the Thunder moved up 3-0 in the first. First baseman Keri Rider reached first safely on an infield single in the next at bat. Her single scored Gregory and the Texas Thunder took a 4-0 lead to move into the top of the second.

Thunder pitcher Mayumi Murakami retired the next three batters and the Thunder looked to increase their lead in the bottom of the second inning.

Centerfielder Kristen Zaleski reached first safely on an infield single and then stole second.

Nesloney sacrificed to move Zaleski to third and Gardner recorded her first hit of the game to score Zaleski at third.

The game moved into the top of the third and Russian first baseman Alexandra Larionova singled to record Russia’s first hit of the game. But, Larionova would be stranded at first as Murakami retired the next three hitters.

The Thunder continued to increase their lead in the bottom of the fourth, with Zaleski singling and stealing second base to lead off the frame. Nesloney then walked and Gardner reached first safely when the Russian shortstop attempted to get the runner out at second. Nesloney beat the throw and both runners advanced safely. With the bases loaded, Burnum recorded her first hit of the night and collected two RBI as Zaleski and Nesloney both scored. Gardner scored from third on a passed ball and Krebs reached first safely on a dropped fly ball by the left fielder. With two runners on, Gregory tripled in the next at bat to score both Burnum and Krebs.

Rider then doubled to score Gregory and left fielder Erin Evans tripled down the right field line to score Rider from second.

The top of the lineup came around again and Nesloney dropped a single in front of the right fielder to plate Evans. The Texas Thunder closed out the fourth with a commanding 13-0 lead.

The game moved into the top of the fifth and Russia recorded their only run of the game as Amie Ford lead off the inning with a double to left field.

Shortstop Svetlana Sementsova then singled to put runners on second and third. With no outs, first baseman Alexandra Larionova laid down a bunt on the first base side and Ford scored from third base. First baseman Rider fielded the bunt cleanly and threw Larionova out at first to get the first out of the inning. Murakami retired the next two batters, but Russia got on the board with a score of 13-1.

The Thunder earned their final three runs of the game as pitcher Christa Williams lead off the inning with a walk in her first at bat of the season. Nesloney reached first on a throwing error by the third baseman. Zaleski then re-entered for Williams at first and with runners on first and second, Gardner ripped a ball into left field and Zaleski scored. Burnum then singled on her next at bat and Gardner and Nesloney scored to give the Thunder three more runs to close out the sixth.

Murakami retired the side in the top of the seventh and with a final score of 16-1, the Thunder improved to 4-2 in regular season play. The Thunder will battle the Russian National Team again Saturday night, June 18th at 7:00 at Big League Dreams in League City in the third game of this four game series.