Houston, Texas-- Starter Mayumi Murakami (Mt. Sac) tossed a complete game shut out with three strikeouts to take game four, 3-0 against the Phoenix Flames. With the win, Thunder get their eighth consecutive victory and also claim back-to-back series sweeps. The win moves Thunder to 19-8 in regular season play as they maintain their fourth place standing just in front of Arizona Heat.
Thunder jumped on the board first as center fielder Kristen Zaleski (Texas State) singled home right fielder Julie Watson (UCF) for the first run of the game. Watson continued her heavy hitting in the first as she reached with an infield single. Gardner then followed with an RBI of her own, as she hit into a fielders choice, scoring Zaleski from second. Thunder closed out the inning with a 2-0 lead.
Thunder added another run in the third as designated player Erin Evans (OU) snuck an RBI single up the middle to plate left fielder Kim Nesloney (UH). Thunder closed out the inning 3-0 as this run would prove to be the last and final run of the ball game.
Phoenix tried to rally in the seventh but was stopped short on a stellar double play by Zaleski. With Phoenix shortstop Stephanie Nicholson on first with an infield single, first baseman Jessica Ellison hit a deep fly ball to the right field gap. Zaleski ran down the ball, made the catch and doubled up Nicholson at first. Murakami retired the next batter on a ground out to shortstop Adrian Gregory (Texas A&M) to get the third out and the win. Phoenix pitcher Jessica Happock pitched seven complete innings but took the loss for her second of the series.
Thunder look to continue their winning ways as they take on the Canadian National Team next Thursday, July 21, at 7:00 p.m. at Big League Dreams Sports Park in League City for game one of this regular season series.
Phoenix Flames 000 000 0 0 2 1
Texas Thunder 201 000 X 3 5 0
(WP) Mayumi Murakami
(LP) Jessica Happock
Callye Williams Kim Ryan