TUCSON, ARIZ The Arizona Heat ended a five game losing streak with a dramatic extra-innings victory over the Connecticut Brakettes. April Valdez delivered a two-out bases loaded RBI single to score the winning run in the tenth.
Leslie Wolfe and Desiree Serrano combined to hold the Brakettes without a run for all ten innings. Each pitcher threw five innings and allowed four hits. Wolfe struck out seven and Serrano added one of her own while improving to 7-6. Sarah Pauly went all nine and two-third innings for the Brakettes, allowing only the one run on twelve hits and striking out eight.
Both teams had many opportunities all night long to score, but neither could get a run in. The Heat left twelve runners on base, while the Brakettes left ten. The game moved into the sixth still scoreless with each team advancing a few runners into scoring position.
The first real threat came in the sixth when the Heat got a leadoff single by Catalina Morris, followed by a single by Nichole Thompson. Morris was then caught stealing third, and pinch runner Kristina Schmallen advanced to second. Toni Mascarenas came through with a single of her own, but Schmallen was gunned down at the plate.
The Brakettes would get two runners into scoring position in the seventh with two outs, but Serrano got Adrienne Alo to fly out to end the inning. Connecticut was back at it in the eight, using an error and two intentional walks to load the bases. However, Serrano would once again bear down and escape the inning unscathed.
Kaleo Eldredge led off the bottom of the eighth with a double and Morris was intentionally walked to put two runners on. However, Pauly got a pop up and two strikeouts to end the Heat rally.
Connecticut would try again in the ninth, advancing two runners into scoring position with only one down. Callie Piper lifted a ball to right that Eldredge fielded and fired home to catch Stephanie Best trying to tag up. Arizona would get two on in the bottom of the ninth, but Pauly once again worked her way out of the jam.
The game moved into the tenth with each team placing a runner on second to start the inning. Serrano worked out of the inning without allowing the baserunner to advance past second. In the bottom of the inning, Pauly started off by intentionally walking Morris. Two batters later, Mascarenas delivered an infield single to load the bases. After a fielders choice to get the second out, Valdez connected on two strike single to score the winning run.
Toni Mascarenas led the Heat offense with three hits. Autumn Champion and April Valdez added two hits apiece. Champion also stole two more bases, giving her ten on the season.
Aimee Minor had the only multi-hit game for the Brakettes, finishing three for four on the night.
The Heat and Brakettes will square off again tomorrow night at 7pm for the third game of the series. Desiree Serrano is expected to get the start for the Heat against Kaci Clark for the Brakettes.
Contact: Scott Kimmelman, Media Relations, Arizona Heat