2017 NPF

Championship Series

August 17-20


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Heat Win Eighth Straight Behind Beach’s Complete Game

TUCSON, ARIZ – The Arizona Heat made it eight straight wins, with a 7-2 victory over the California Sunbirds. Erica Beach hurled her second complete game of the series and a couple of timely hits by Cheryl Schaefer and Tairia Flowers led to the Heat win. Sunbirds pitcher Meagan Denny tossed a complete game in the loss.

Erica Beach won her fifth straight decision by going the distance and allowing only one earned run. The run snapped Beach’s streak of 32 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. Beach allowed five hits, two walks and struck out four on the night.

Beach and Denny battled through the first two innings not allowing any runs despite putting runners on base. Bach allowed a hit and a steal in the first, but was able to get out of the inning without allowing the base runner to score. Denny cruised through the first inning, striking out two Heat batter while retiring them in order. In the second, she ran into some control issues. After getting Tairia Flowers to swing at a ball, the catcher could not hold onto the pitch, and Flowers reached first on the passed ball. Jackie Coburn sacrificed Flowers to second, who then took third when the base was left uncovered. Denny got another out, but then walked two straight batters to load the bases. She was able to get out of the inning unscathed after getting Ladonia Hughes to ground out.

Denny’s control issues would catch up to her in the third, as she allowed two runs to score without giving up a hit. Lauren Bauer led off with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Nichole Thompson. Bauer went to third on a passed ball and Denny walked Jessica Mendoza to put another runner on. After Mendoza stole second, another passed ball allowed both runners to score and give the Heat a 2-0 lead.

The Sunbirds came right back in the fourth scoring a run and cutting the Heat lead in half. Beach gave up a lead off walk to Melissa Wood and a single to Melissa Sanchez to give the Sunbirds a pair of base runners.
After an error allowed the runners to move up a base, Desiree Williams stroked a single to left scoring the Sunbirds first run of the series.

The Heat did not let the Sunbirds hang around too long, getting three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Mendoza led off the inning with a single to right and advanced to second on a throwing error by the right fielder.
Flowers followed her with a single of her own, scoring Mendoza and putting the Heat up by two. Toni Mascarenas doubled home Flowers, and Schaefer followed with her own double to put the Heat up 5-1.

The Sunbirds got a run back in the sixth on another RBI single by Williams, but that would be the closest they would come. The Heat added two more in the bottom of the inning on two fielding mishaps by the Sunbirds.

Schaefer led the Heat offense by going two for two with a double and an RBI. Felicity Willis, Toni Mascarenas, Tairia Flowers and Jessica Mendoza had one hit apiece. Mendoza had her ninth steal of the season and scored three runs.

Desiree Williams went two for three with two RBIs and Veronica Wootson had two hits to pace the Sunbird offense. Meagan Denny went the distance, allowing seven runs (four earned), eight walks and striking out four.

The Heat and the Sunbirds will play the season finale tomorrow night at 7:30 pm at Hi Corbett Field.

Contact: Scott Kimmelman, Media Relations, Arizona Heat
520.296.9595 or email