Stockton, Calif. The California Sunbirds broke out to stop their current losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Arizona Heat on Monday, June 21. With the win the Sunbirds improve to 5-11 overall while the Heat fall to 6-10.
The Sunbirds broke out of the offensive slump, ending a 14 inning home drought, with a three run fourth inning that tied the game. After falling behind three runs in the third inning, California used clutch hitting and a little luck to score their three runs. Cindy Ball got her timing down in the batters box as she had a two out single that drove in the final two runs of the inning.
Ball was 3-for-4 on the night with her final hit igniting the winning rally in the bottom of the ninth inning. Nikki Beal came into pinch runner for Ball and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt/fielders choice bunt by Brandy Thurman. Both runners advanced into scoring position on another sacrifice bunt this time put down by the unlikeliest candidates, slugger Julie Marshall. With the puzzle pieces figured out and in place, pinch hitter Christen Bedwell plated the winning run with a fly to center that was deep enough to score Beal.
California got another good outing out of their starting pitching as Jodie Cox went a strong nine innings to get the complete game, extra inning win. Cox retired 20 of the last 25 batters she faced for the Sunbirds after giving up the three runs in the third. During the run, Cox retired six via the strikeout and had a span of 11 straight Heat hitters that she retired.
The Sunbirds will be back in action tomorrow, June 22, as they look to take the series from the Heat in the final game of their three game homestand.