TUCSON, ARIZ The Arizona Heat will have to wait another night to try and pick up their first victory of the season. The Texas Thunder won their third straight game over the Heat thanks to five-run first and third innings on their way to a 13-1 victory.
Nicole Neuerburg got the start for the Thunder and held the Heat in check all night. She finished the game with five innings pitched, an unearned run on three hits and walked two batters. April Valdez got her second start for the Heat and did not fair as well as she did on Friday night. She went two and a third innings, allowing ten runs nine earned on ten hits.
For the third night in a row, the Thunder jumped out to an early lead on the Heat. Kim Zaleski led off the game with a single to left field. Kim Nesloney, Amanda Freed and Serena Settlemier each followed with a single of their own. Freeds and Settlemiers hits each drove in a run to push the score to 2-0. After retiring Karrie Rider, Valdez surrendered an RBI single to Lindsay Gardner and a two run single to Adrian Gregory to extend the lead to 5-0.
The Heat got one back in the first thanks to back-to-back singles by Nichole Thompson and Crystal Farley to lead off the game. Toni Mascarenas hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring Thompson in and put the Heat on the board.
The Thunder were back at it in the third, adding five more runs. Settlemier led off the inning with a single and was moved to second on a walk by Gardner. Gregory followed with an RBI single and Denise Dahlberg walked to load the bases. Julie Watson then slapped a single to right field but the ball got passed Kristina Schmallen and rolled all the way to the wall. All four runs came around to score and the Thunder led 10-0. Celena Velasquez came in to relieve Valdez and retired the last two batters of the inning.
Texas would add three more in the fifth on a two-run double by Nesloney and a RBI double by Freed. Neuerburg continued to baffle the Heat retiring 15 of the next 18 Heat batters after the back-to-back singles in the first.
Shelly Schultz pitched two scoreless innings for the Heat, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out three. Amanda Freed came in to start the sixth and finished the Heat off, allowing three hits and striking out two.
The Heat managed only six hits tonight, with no one picking up more than one. Nichole Thompson finished one for four and scored the lone run.
Kristen Zaleski and Adrian Gregory led the Thunder offense, combining for seven hits. Zaleski went four for four with a double, triple and two runs scored. Gregory finished the night with three singles and three RBIs. Serena Settlemier also added three hits while Kim Nesloney and Amanda Freed each had two hits and two RBIs.
The Heat and Thunder will meet again on Sunday Night for the final game of the series at Hi Corbett Field at 7:00 pm.
Contact: Scott Kimmelman, Media Relations, Arizona Heat
520.296.9595 or email firstname.lastname@example.org