After a 48 minute rain delay, the Arizona Heat season-finale versus the NY/NJ Juggernaut got underway to the delight of 602 fans who came out for Fan Appreciation Night at Hi Corbett Field.
The Juggernauts took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first, then went on to score four more runs to win the game 5-0 improving their final record to 39-21. They finished the season in third place as they get ready for postseason play next week in Akron, Ohio.
Arizona dropped to 19-41, losing their last four games of the season to the Juggernaut. The loss marked the end of a disappointing season for the Heat after high expectations of making the playoffs earlier in the season.
Were all disappointed and frustrated, said Heat coach Debby Day. We all wish we were going to Akron to play next week.
Heat shortstop and former University of Arizona All-American Nancy Evans was a little more pleased about the season.
It was an exciting season, said Evans. It had its ups and downs, but we all had a great time.
Evans added that she hopes the league will continue next year and if she has the opportunity, she would love to play again.
The game was interrupted again in the bottom of the fourth inning as the Tucson monsoons made their arrival. When play resumed 20 minutes later, it was Evans taking the mound for the Heat in her first pitching appearance in the NPF. She kept NY/NJ scoreless while striking out three of the 10 batters she faced in two innings of action.
The Juggernaut scattered eight hits throughout the game while the Heat had four but could not bring any runners across the plate; a problem that plagued the team the entire season.
The Heat finished the season in fifth place out of six teams. The Texas Thunder, Akron Racers, the Juggernaut and the New England Riptide will begin postseason play next week. Arizona and the California Sunbirds are the two teams that did not make the playoffs.
The Arizona Heat is part of the six-team National Pro Fastpitch softball league. They played their home games at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, Arizona. For information about the team or league, call (520) 296-9595 or visit .