6/4/97 -- 1:01 AM
Firestix still winless after 8-7 loss to Pride
By BLANE BACHELOR Tampa Tribune correspondent
TAMPA - The lights went out - literally - on the Tampa Bay
Firestix's home debut against the
Georgia Pride at Red McEwen Field on Tuesday night.
The Firestix watched their four-run lead disappear, along with the
stadium's lighting, during a
technical difficulty that stopped play for nearly 30 minutes before
the Pride pulled out a four-run
inning to cap off an 8-7 comeback victory.
It was the third consecutive one-run loss for the Firestix, now 0-3
at the beginning of their 72- game
season. Their focus for the upcoming games: capitalize on the
positives - which were strong fielding
and a solid start against the Pride - to close out the victory.
``We were in control of the game, I felt, and a lot of crazy things
happened,'' Firestix coach Bob
Brock said. ''This is certainly not an 0-3 team, and I think a lot
of people can see that. We make a
few mistakes here and there, and tonight, we didn't seem to get the
right hits at the right time.''
The Firestix built a 7-3 lead entering the sixth, after the Pride
tied the score at 3 in the second with a
three-run homer from Jenny Brewster.
Tampa Bay responded with a two-run double in its next at-bat from
shortstop Megan Murray for the
lead again, which jumped to 6-3 after a Georgia throwing error
brought in another run.
But a disastrous sixth inning for the Firestix, which included four
consecutive singles from the Pride
and a two-run error from catcher Beth Gerken, erased that lead for
a 7-7 tie.
The announced crowd of 1,443 then enjoyed a mid-game fireworks
display during the delay from
the lighting problem. The show seemingly provided a spark for the
Pride, who capitalized on a
fielding error off a single from Martya Laudato for the final
The Firestix collected all seven of their hits in the first four
''I think a lot of us are used to a game where you jump ahead
early, and the games goes by so
quickly it stays set like that,'' said Firestix pitcher DeeDee
Weiman (0-2), who allowed nine hits for
eight runs, six earned. ''It just caught up to us.''
THe Firestix face the Pride (1-2) for the second of the three- game
series tonight at 7 at Red
Georgia 030 004 1-8 9 1 Tampa Bay 322 000 0-7 7 2 Espinoza and
Laudato. Weiman and
Gerken. W- Espinoza (1-1). L-Weiman (0-2). 2B-Perez (TB).