Heat Jump Out Early, Down Ice 7-0
TUCSON, ARIZ - The Arizona Heat won their third straight game over the Michigan Ice behind a complete game shutout by Celena Velasquez. Velasquez kept the Ice off balance all night and the Heat played outstanding defense on their way to 7-0 victory.
Velasquez picked up her second win of the season, tossing her first career complete game shutout. She allowed just five hits, one walk and struck out two. Erin Brockert started for the Ice, but lasted just two innings. She allowed six runs - four earned - on three hits, and issued six walks. Janet Nagle finished off the final four innings for the Ice, allowing just one hit and an unearned run.
After falling behind early the last two nights, the Heat turned the tables and scored three in the first inning. Catalina Morris led off with a single and promptly stole second. She would come into score when Autumn Champion's bunt was thrown into right field. The Heat would add two more runs on a pair of wild pitches by Brockert.
The second inning was much of the same for the Heat. Morris walked and stole second before Champion singled her to third. She would then score on a sacrifice fly by Nichole Thompson. Champion scored on a passed ball and April Valdez's RBI single made it 6-0.
The Ice threatened in the fourth, when Charity Butler and Auriel Jenkins led off the inning with back-to-back singles. However, Velasquez would retire the next three to get out of the inning without allowing a run.
The Heat added the final run in the fifth on a Catalina Morris's league leading seventh triple of the season. Heat pitchers, Desiree Serrano and Leslie Wolfe, making their first plate appearances since high school both reached base. Wolfe was hit by a pitch and Serrano drew a walk.
Catalina Morris led the Heat attack, finishing two for three with a RBI triple and two stolen bases. April Valdez and Autumn Champion had the other two Heat hits on the night. Champion added two more stolen bases, upping her league leading total to 18. The Heat tied a franchise record with eight walks on the night and also had two batters hit by a pitch.
Charity Butler collected three hits for the Ice, with Auriel Jenkins and Lani Shaffer adding one apiece.
The Heat and Ice will be back at it tomorrow night at Hi Corbett Field for the final game of the season at 7 pm.
• Discuss this story on the National Pro Fastpitch message board...
National Pro Fastpitch Stories from August 19, 2006
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.