The Arizona Heat defeated the Venezuelan National Team for the third night in a row by a score of 5-2. Erica Beach tossed a complete game for the Heat to pick up her third win of the season.
For the third night in a row, the Heat jumped out to a big lead and never trailed in the ballgame. The Heat batters pounded out 10 hits on their way to scoring their five runs.
Erica Beach and Venezuelan starter Mariange Bogado both came out firing, cruising until the third inning when the bats got started. Christina Rodriguez led off the top of the third with a single up the middle. Beach retired the next two Venezuelan hitters, before Angelica Irigoyen doubled to right centerfield. Zuleima Rodriguez who reached on a fielders choice decided to test Lauren Bauers arm, and was gunned down at the plate to end the threat.
Ladonia Hughes led off the Heats half of the inning with a single to right field, a single by Lauren Bauer moved Hughes to third. On the next pitch, Bauer stole second, giving her five in the last three games. Nichole Thompson swatted a base hit into right field, scoring Hughes to give the Heat a 1-0 lead. After Lovie Jung flew out, Bogado intentionally walked clean-up hitter Jackie Coburn to load the bases. Toni Mascarenas fouled out to first, leaving the bases loaded for Tara Knudsen, who responded with a double to left-centerfield plating Bauer and Thompson, and putting the Heat up 3-0.
With one out in the fifth, Nichole Thompson doubled to left, and was later driven in by Jackie Coburn to put the Heat up 4-0. The Heat added their final run in the sixth on a RBI single by Ladonia Hughes after Cheryl Schaefer tripled to center.
Erica Beach cruised through the first six innings allowing only six hits and not walking a batter. She ran into some trouble in the seventh, allowing a two run homerun to Venezuelan shortstop Denisse Fuenmayor.
That would be the closest the score would get as Beach retired the final three batters to close out her victory. It took only 69 pitches for Beach to toss her fifth complete game of the season.
Nichole Thompson was the Heat star at the plate for the second night in a row, going three for three with a double, a stolen base, and an RBI. Thompson is now six for nine on the series with three RBI and three stolen bases.
For the second night in a row, Ladonia Hughes had two hits of her own, giving her five on the weekend thus far. Yurubi Alicart had two hits for the Venezuelan team and Denisee Fuenmayor hit her first homerun of the season.
The two teams will square off for the series finale tomorrow night at 7:30 pm at Hi Corbett Field as the Heat look to complete the sweep.