Houston, Texas- The largest crowd of the season came to watch Texas Thunder as they rolled past the Akron Racers, 4-2, Friday night at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, Big League Dreams in League City. Piper Marten showed her All- Big Ten form, going the distance, giving up six hits, two unearned runs and striking out two on the evening. Karrie Rider had the big blow, on the night, with a mammoth pinch hit solo homer in the sixth to nail the lid shut on the Racers.
Texas Thunder jumped out to an early lead with Kristen Zaleski driving home Kim Nesloney with her first inning single off of Racer starter Brandee McArthur. In the second, Adrian Gregory would be hit by a pitch, she would move to second on a Lindsay Gardner sacrifice bunt and then to third on Crystal Krebs fielders choice. Gregory would score two pitches later on a wild pitch. In the Third it was Zaleski again, the leagues leading hitter would stroke a solid double to left center and ride in two batters later, on an Gregory sacrifice fly.
The Racers would make a bid in the fourth as Team USA and Racer catcher Jenny Topping would greet Marten with a lead off single. After back to back errors, Lindsay Bashor smashed a hard liner off the glove of Amanda Freed driving in two Racers. Thats all the Racers would tally on the evening as Piper Marten shut down the potent Racer attack for the rest of the evening.
In the sixth, Rider, entered the game in a pinch hit role, and promptly drove a McArthur 1-1 rise ball over the centerfield wall for a solo homerun. Marten would set the Racers down in the seventh and the Thunder would pick up their second win of the series and their thirty forth win of the season against just eleven losses. Marten moved to 5-0 on the season while McArthur picked up the loss for the Racers. With the win, the Thunder clinched their second consecutive trip to the NPF play-offs that will be held next weekend in Chicago at St. Benedictine University, home of the NPF Chicago Bandits.
Texas Thunder and the Akron Racers face-off against each other Saturday night at 7pm in game three of the 4-game series at Big League Dreams Sports Park in League City, Texas. The fourth and final home game of the season will be Sunday at 1pm. Houston native and US Olympic Gold Medalist Cat Osterman (UT) will be throwing out the ceremonial first-pitch on Sunday.
Story by: Terry L. Lewis
Box Score.............1 2 3 4 5 6 7........R H E LOB
RACERS................0 0 0 2 0 0 0........2 6 0 8
THUNDER..............1 1 1 0 0 1 X........4 5 4 5
WP-Piper Martin (5-0)
LP- Brandee McArthur (11-3)
HR- Karrie Rider (2)