Tucson, Ariz.-- The Arizona Heat defeated the Venezuelan National Team for the second time in as many nights, thanks to exceptional pitching from Dana Sorensen and Erica Beach. Much like the previous night, the Heat jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, winning the game 7-1 on Friday. Sorensen pitched five innings of one-run ball to earn her third victory of the year. The Heat bats also came around, pounding out eight hits on their way to seven runs.
After leaving two runners on base in the bottom of the first, the Heat batters got started in the second. With one down, Beach and Cheryl Schaefer each drew walks before Ladonia Hughes singled through the right side to load the bases. With the bags full and the team's leading hitter, Lauren Bauer, up, it looked like a big inning was in store for the Heat.
Beach scored on a wild pitch from pitcher Maria Castellanos, and the Heat led 1-0. Bauer grounded to first, and the Venezuelan Team retired Schaefer at home for the second out of the inning. Nichole Thompson followed with a double to right-centerfield, plating both runner, and upping the Heat lead to 3-0.
The third inning was much of the same for the Heat, as Phelan Wright led off with an infield single. Erica Beach followed with a routine fly to right field that was misplayed by Angelica Irogoyen, allowing Wright to score and Beach to reach second base. Back-to-back doubles by Schaefer and Hughes pushed the Heat out to a 6-0 lead.
Venezuela was able to get one run back in the top of the fourth. Ruby Rojas led off the inning with a double, and came around to score on a Denisse Fuenmayor single. That would be all the runs the Venezuelan team would manage on the night. Jackie Coburn had an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth off relief pitcher Johana Gomez to put the Heat back up by six runs.
Sorensen got her first start in two weeks after missing some time to tryout for the US National Team. Sorensen took command from the get go, striking out five in the first two innings, which included fanning the side in the second.
She finished the night giving up four hits and walking one, while striking out seven in five innings of work. Beach appeared in relief for the second night in a row, this time throwing two innings of shutout ball. Beach gave up two hits in the top of the seventh, but escaped without allowing a run to cross the plate.
Nichole Thompson finished the night two for four with two RBI and Ladonia Hughes had two hits of her own to lead the Heats offensive attack.
Denisse Fuenmayor had two hits and an RBI for the Venezuelan Team.
The two teams will square off for the second game of the series tomorrow night at 7:30 pm at Hi Corbett Field.