Olympic gold medalist Amanda Freed (UCLA) took the mound and made her home debut at Big League Dreams tonight in League City against the Venezuelan National team as she notched her fourth victory of the regular season to lead the Thunder to a 4-2 victory. Piper Marten (Minnesota) made her professional debut as she came in relief for Mayumi Murakami (Mt. Sac) during the seventh to earn her first save of the season.
Thunder jumped on the board early in the game as both Freed and right fielder Kim Nesloney (UH) led off the bottom of the first with base hits. An error by the Venezuelan shortstop allowed centerfielder Kristen Zaleski (Texas State) to reach safely on the next at bat, and with the bases loaded Clare Burnum (Oregon State) walked to plate the first Thunder run of the game. A sacrifice fly by second baseman Lindsay Gardner (UT) allowed Nesloney to score from third and a throwing error by the shortstop plated both Burnum and Zaleski on shortstop Adrian Gregorys infield single. Thunder left two on in the inning as designated player Karrie Rider (Mississippi State) walked but the Thunder could not plate another run as the team closed out the inning with a 4-0 lead.
Venezuela answered in the sixth as left fielder Ruby Rojas reached first on a catchers interference and then scored on designated player Zuleima Cirimelles double to right field. Murakami retired the next two batters and Venezuela got on the board with a score of 4-1. They would add one more run in the seventh as pinch hitter Nidia Pineda led off with a double to deep centerfield. She then scored on Mayrosa Ocantos double to left. With two outs and Ocanto on second, Marten retired the last batter on a pop up to Gregory at shortstop and Thunder secured the win with a final score of 4-2.
With the win, Thunder improves their record to 13-8 and they secure a fifth place spot in league standings. Venezuela and Texas Thunder will square off again tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. at Big League Dreams Sports Park in League City for game three of this regular season series.