Houston, TX-- Texas Thunder closed out their four game series against the Russian National Team Sunday, completing their first series sweep of the season with a 13-2 victory.
With two outs in the bottom of the first, the Texas Thunder jumped on the board first as second baseman Lindsay Gardner ripped a hard ground ball off the pitchers glove to reach first safely.
Third baseman Clare Burnum then laid down the quick bunt and advanced to second on a wild throw by the pitcher, and Gardner moved over to third. Shortstop Adrian Gregory then singled up the middle to drive in both runners and the Thunder closed out the first inning with a 2-0 lead.
Russia answered back in the top of the third as left fielder Zolina Giniyatova laid down the drag bunt to reach first base safely.
Right fielder Anna Momzikova followed suit and laid down the sacrifice bunt, but Thunder catcher Crystal Krebs throw sailed just past the outstretched glove of second baseman Gardner, and Momzikova reached first safely.
With runners on first and second, shortstop Svetlana Sementzova laid down another sacrifice bunt to advance the runners one base. With two outs, pitcher Daria Shemberova singled up the middle to score both runners and Russia closed out the inning with the score tied, 2-2.
The game moved into the bottom of the fifth and the Texas Thunder batted around to increase their lead, 9-2. Adrian Gregory reached first after being hit by a pitch and was moved to second on Krebs sacrifice bunt.
First baseman Karrie Rider then singled to right field to put runners on first and third. Left fielder Erin Evans drove in her first RBI of the game as she laced a double to the gap to score Gregory from third.
Designated player Monica Garza followed suit with a double of her own to plate both Rider and Evans. With the score 5-2, centerfielder Kristen Zaleski drove in pinch runner Julie Watson with an RBI single, and right fielder Kim Nesloney singled as well to score Zaleski. Nesloney then stole second and Burnum and Gardner both reached base with a hit by pitch and a walk.
With the bases loaded, Gregory hit into a fielders choice, but the runners moved up one base and Gardner scored from third on a wild throw by the catcher. Krebs then singled up the middle and both Gregory and Burnum scored. Texas nearly batted twice through the lineup to close out the inning, 10-2.
Thunder pitcher Mayumi Murakami retired the side in the top of the fifth and the Thunder scored three more runs in the bottom of the inning. Watson reached first safely as she beat out the throw from the Russian shortstop on a slap hit, and then stole second during Zaleskis at bat.
Zaleski then ripped a triple to the outfield wall to score Watson to put the Thunder up 11-2.
Nesloney walked in her next at bat and with Zaleski on third, Gardner flew out to left field, but the Russian catcher failed to cover home and Zaleski scored.
Burnum singled to move Nesloney to second and Gregory drove in Nesloney with an RBI single. The Texas Thunder added three more runs to close out the fifth, 13-2.
Murakami held the lead into the sixth inning and closed out the seventh with a final score of 13-2.
With the win, the Texas Thunder move to 6-2 in regular season play and complete their first series sweep over the Russian National Team.
Texas Thunder will take an extended two week road trip as they face the New England Riptide this weekend, June 23-26. The team will then play the Stratford Brakettes in a four game series, and then travel to New York to take on the Juggernauts in a four game series as well. The team returns home on Thursday, July 7, at 7:00 p.m. as they host the Venezuelan National Team in a four game series at Big League Dreams Sports Park in League City.