TUCSON, ARIZ The Arizona Heat dropped their second straight game to open the season tonight against the Texas Thunder. Christa Williams won her second straight game, this time as the starter and Heat pitcher Celena Velasquez took the loss for the second straight night.
Williams and Velasquez started tonights game after they both appeared in last nights extra-inning battle. Williams started off red hot, not allowing a hit until the fourth inning. She finished the night with five and a third innings pitched, allowing only three hits and two runs while striking out three. Velasquez hurled a complete game for the Heat surrendering four runs three earned on nine hits.
The Thunder did not waste anytime putting runs on the board. Kristen Zaleski led off the game with a triple off the left field wall and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Kim Nesloney. After striking out Amanda Freed, Serena Settlemier walked and came around to score on a double by Karrie Rider.
Christa Williams would not let the Heat get off to a similar start, retiring the first eleven batters she faced. The Thunder threatened again the second, but Heather Scaglione made a diving catch on a popped-up bunt and doubled off Denise Dahlberg to end the rally. Texas was back at it in the third, using three consecutive singles to plate another run and go up 3-0.
Williams continued to cruise, striking out the side in the bottom of the third and retiring the first two batters of the fourth. However, her perfect game was broken up by Toni Mascarenas who singled up the middle. The Thunder stretched their lead in the fifth thanks to singles from Lindsay Gardner, Denise Dahlberg and Raquel Spencer.
The Heat would not go quietly in the sixth. Crystal Farley drew a one-out walk and Mascarenas followed with a double to left to put two runners in scoring position. Krystal Lewallen was called out of the bullpen to relieve Williams, but could not get out of the inning unscathed. Scaglione hit a sacrifice fly to plate a run and Kaleo Eldredge delivered a single to right to score another. With the Heat down 4-2, the game moved to the bottom of the seventh. Lewallen remained in the game for the Thunder and swiftly retired the first two batter of the inning. LaDonia Hughes followed with a single up the middle, but Nichole Thompson grounded into a fielders choice to end the game.
Toni Mascarenas had the only multi-hit game for the Heat, connecting on a single and a double. Kaleo Eldredge and Heather Scaglione each picked up their second RBIs of the season.
The Thunder were led offensively by Denise Dahlbeg who collected two hits and a RBI. Eight of the nine Thunder starters had at least one hit on the night.
The Heat and Thunder will play the second game of the series tomorrow night at Hi Corbett Field at 7:30 pm.
Contact: Scott Kimmelman, Media Relations, Arizona Heat
520.296.9595 or email firstname.lastname@example.org