TUCSON, ARIZ The Arizona Heat dropped their first ever game with the Connecticut Brakettes by a score of 5-2. The Brakettes twice recovered from one-run deficits and used a four run fifth to pull away from. Jessica Merchants two-run homerun in the fifth gave the Brakettes the lead for good.
Desiree Serrano took the mound for the Heat, opposite Nikki Myers for the Brakettes. The two pitchers battled through trouble all night long. Serrano lasted four and one-third innings before being removed. She allowed four runs on eight hits and dropped to 6-7 on the season. Leslie Wolfe closed out the final two and two-thirds innings, surrendering only an unearned run. Myers improved to 5-2 on the year, allowing three runs on seven hits in a complete game victory.
Serrano pitched out of trouble in the first two innings as the Brakettes left three runners in scoring position. The Heat would strike first in the bottom half of the second on a leadoff homerun by Catalina Morris.
The Brakettes would answer quickly in the top of the third, knotting the score at one. Kelly Kretschman led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice. She would eventually score on a two-out single by Jessica Merchant.
Nichole Thompson would help put the Heat back on top in the bottom of the fourth with a triple to rightcenter field. She would score on a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by Toni Mascarenas, giving the Heat their second lead of the game.
Connecticut would again respond quickly, scoring four runs in the top of the fifth. After retiring the first batter of the inning, Serrano allowed a single to Kelly Wilkerson. Merchant would then strike again, belting a two-run homerun to dead center field and giving the Brakettes a 3-2 lead. They would add two more runs in the inning courtesy of a RBI triple by Stephanie Hill who would then score on a throwing error.
The Heat would get one back in the bottom of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Mascarenas, but that was as close as it would get. Myers settled down, retiring the Heat in order in the seventh to end the game.
Catalina Morris delivered her team leading third homerun this season and extended her hitting streak to nine games. Toni Mascarenas picked up a hit and two RBIs and LaDonia Hughes added two hits of her own.
Jessica Merchant was the hitting star for the Brakettes, finishing two for four with three RBIs. She hit her NPF leading seventh homerun of the season in the fifth. Kelly Kretschman contributed two hits and Stephanie Hill added a triple and a RBI.
The Heat and Brakettes will square off again tomorrow night at 7pm for the second game of the series. Leslie Wolfe is expected to get the start for the Heat against Sarah Pauly for the Brakettes.
Contact: Scott Kimmelman, Media Relations, Arizona Heat