Chelsea Spencer hit a solo homerun to tie up the game in the bottom of the seventh inning en route to a 4-3 Juggernaut win over the Texas Thunder in nine innings. She was 3-for-4 on the day with an RBI and two runs scored. Leah Nelson and Laura Taylor each went 2-for-4 with an RBI to contribute to the offense. Carri Leto hit an RBI sacrifice fly to left field to score Spencer in the bottom of the ninth inning for New York to take game three of the series. Jodie Cox went the distance, pitching a complete nine inning game, striking out ten while allowing just four hits.
The Juggernaut started and ended the scoring in game three. In the first inning, with one out, Carri Leto hit a triple to left field to put the first runner on board for the Nauts. A suicide squeeze by Leah Nelson allowed Leto to score from third to give the Juggernaut a 1-0 advantage.
The Thunder added a run of their own in the fourth inning when Kristen Zaleski led off the innings with a double to right field. A walk to Clare Burnum and a sacrifice bunt by Lindsay Gardner put runners on second and third for Texas. The Thunder was not afraid to pull out all the tools, as Adrian Gregory was successful in executing a suicide squeeze to score Zaleski.
Texas scored again in the sixth to pull ahead of the Nauts. Zaleski, who went 3-for-3 on the day, added her second hit, a single to centerfield to get the Thunder offense going in the top of the sixth inning. Clare Burnum hit a routine grounder to shortstop, but an attempt at a double play and an error on New York first baseman Laura Taylor allowed Burnum to end at second base on the play. An errant throw by Natasha Watley on a Lindsay Gardner ground ball allowed Burnum to score from second base, giving Texas the lead.
With the score 2-1 in favor of the Thunder, Chelsea Spencer hit a game tying home run over the left field fence to send the game into extra innings, her second in two days.
The Thunder scored first in the eighth inning. Zaleski, again, led off the inning for Texas with an infield single. After advancing to second on a stolen base, Gardner followed two batters later with an RBI double to left field.
The Juggernaut answered back in the bottom of the inning. Natasha Watley hit an infield single to start the inning. An error on Thunder third baseman Clare Burnum allowed Watley to take second on the play. A sacrifice bunt by Leto put Watley on third with one out. Laura Taylor hit an RBI single two batters later to score Watley.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Spencer led off with a single and would later prove to be the winning run in the ball game. Trena Peel followed with a walk and both advanced another base on a sacrifice by Kim Ogee. An intentional walk to Watley loaded the bases for Carri Leto. Leto came through in the clutch, hitting a sacrifice fly to left field to score Spencer and end the game in favor of the Juggernaut.
The New York Juggernaut will attempt a sweep of the Texas Thunder Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at the Hofstra University Softball Stadium. Tickets from the Friday, July 1st game are redeemable at tomorrows contest. For tickets or for more information, please call 516-485-0141 or visit the Juggernaut online at www.nynjjuggernaut.com.
(photo courtesy of David Saffran)