Peaches James, the NPF leader in strikeouts, recorded eight more Thursday night, to tame the Texas offense. She allowed just two runs on four hits, picking up a complete game victory extending her record to 7-2. Alicia Smith recorded two hits and added an RBI to lead the Juggernaut offense.
The Thunder jumped on the board early in the game. Kristen Zaleski led off the first inning with a double to deep center field. Erin Evans followed with a bunt single to put runners on the corners for Texas. An Amanda Freed suicide squeeze allowed Zaleski to score from third for the first run of the ballgame before Peaches James retired the next two batters. A pickoff by Ryan Realmuto ended the Thunder threat in the top of the first inning.
The Juggernaut tied it up in the bottom of the inning. An error by the Thunder shortstop Adrian Gregory allowed Carri Leto to reach first. Leto stole second base and reached third on a Leah Nelson single to centerfield. Leto scored on a well executed double steal before Nelson was tagged out at second base to end the inning.
New York took the lead in the bottom of the second inning when Laura Taylor led off the inning with a double to left centerfield. Trena Peel added an RBI single to left field, allowing Taylor to score form second. Peel advanced to second on the throw, setting up an Alicia Smith RBI single to centerfield to put the Juggernaut ahead of the Thunder 3-1.
Texas added a run in the sixth, but it was not enough to take the game from New York. Another leadoff double by center fielder Zaleski started the inning for the Thunder. With two outs and a costly error by Juggernaut shortstop Natasha Watley, Zaleski scored on a single by Lindsay Gardner.
New York and Texas continue the series with game two being held Friday night at 7:00 p.m. For tickets or for more information, please call 516-485-0141 or visit Juggernaut online at www.nynjjuggernaut.com.
(photo courtesy of Juggernaut photographer David Saffran)