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This Week in the NPF

NPF Standings (as of July 28) 
Texas Thunder (26-11)
Akron Racers (27-12)
NY/NJ Juggernaut (25-16) 
New England Riptide (18-24) 
Arizona Heat (13-27)
California Sunbirds (12-30)

Texas Thunder 
Last Week:
 The Thunder continue their hot play of late, as they have won 10 straight games and now sit a 0.5 game ahead of Akron for the top spot in the league. Pitching continues to lead the Thunder this season, with former Olympian Christa Williams leading the way. Williams currently leads the league in wins with 10 and in ERA at 0.67. 
This Week: On Thursday evening, the Thunder will conclude a three-game road series in California where they have already taken the first two games of the series. The Thunder will then travel to Akron to begin a six-game in four-day series, which will begin on Saturday, July 31. 

Akron Racers 
Last Week:
 Akron has cooled off over their last ten games, as they are 6-4 in those games. Akron entered the All-Star break with a 3.5 game lead over the Thunder, but now find themselves trailing Texas by a game. The team continues to get offensive contribution from several members of the team. The hottest hitter last week for the Racers was Trena Peel and her efforts earned her NPF Player of the Week honors. The Racers lost only their second series to the season while on the road in Tucson. 
This Week: The Racers will conclude a three-game series with the visiting Riptide on Thursday evening. Akron will then play the Thunder in a pivotal six-game series at Firestone Stadium. The two teams will play six games due to a complete series being washed out in Houston earlier this year. 

NY/NJ Juggernaut 
Last Week:
 The Juggernaut has lost two straight, but they still find themselves only three games out of the top position in the standings. Juggernaut first baseman Kellie Wilkerson continues to be the offensive leader with a .342 batting average. Amanda Scott remains the ace of the pitching staff with nine wins. 
This Week: NY/NJ is looking to play their first game this week, as they have been rained out in consecutive games. The Nauts will play a doubleheader with the Heat on Thursday before traveling to New England to take on the Riptide. 

New England Riptide 
Last Week: The Riptide began the week by dropping the final game of their series with the Thunder, but rebounded by taking two of three games from the Arizona Heat. New England was without pitchers Leigh Ann Ellis and Jocelyn Forest for much of the weekend because of prior commitments. Over the last ten games, the Riptide has not gained or lost any ground to the Heat in the playoff push. 
This Week: New England is concluding a mini three-game road trip, as they are in Akron taking on the Racers. The Riptide still hold a 3.5 game lead over the fifth place Heat for the final playoff spot in the league. New England will host the Juggernaut in a rivalry series beginning on Saturday, July 31. 

Arizona Heat 
Last Week:
 Arizona got their week started off good by taking two of three from the visiting Akron Racers. They then went on to lose two of three to the Riptide to remain 3.5 games out of the playoffs. 
This Week: The Heat will play their first game this week against the Juggernaut on Thursday. The two teams will play a doubleheader to try and make up for the two games they had rained out earlier this week. Arizona will then return home after their six-game road trip to take on the Sunbirds. The first game against the Sunbirds will be a feature a professional fireworks show. 

California Sunbirds 
This Week:
 California will conclude their series with the first place Thunder on Thursday before traveling to Arizona to take on the Heat. The series with the Heat will be critical for each team, as they are both still fighting for a playoff spot. The Sunbirds currently sit five games out of the playoffs, while the Heat are 3.5. 

Upcoming Schedule 
Thursday, July 29, 2004 
Heat at Juggernaut 5:05 pm EDT 
Heat at Juggernaut 7:35 pm EDT 
Riptide at Racers 7:05 pm EDT 
Thunder at Sunbirds 7:35 pm PDT 

Saturday, July 31, 2004 
Juggernaut at Riptide 7:05 pm EDT 
Thunder at Racers 1:05 pm EDT 
Sunbirds at Heat 7:35 pm PDT 

Sunday, August 1, 2004 
Juggernaut at Riptide 1:05 pm EDT 
Thunder at Racers 1:05 pm EDT 
Sunbirds at Heat 7:35 pm PDT 

Monday, August 2, 2004 
Juggernaut at Riptide 7:05 pm EDT 
Thunder at Racers 7:05 pm EDT 
Sunbirds at Heat 7:35 pm PDT 

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 
Riptide at Sunbirds 7:35 pm PDT 
Racers at Juggernaut 7:35 pm EDT 
Heat at Thunder 7:35 pm CDT 

Player of the Week 
Trena Peel 
Akron Racers 
Right Field 
Aurora, Colo. – Louisiana State University 
Peel made five starts for the Racers, helping the team to a 3-2 record last week. For the week, Peel went 6-for-13 (.461 BA) at the plate, with a .563 on-base percentage and a 1.000 slugging percentage. Peel’s big game came against the Sunbirds, in which Peel went 2-for-3 at the plate, including a homerun, double and five runs batted in. Peel is the second consecutive member from the Racers to be named NPF Player of the Week. Teammate Dana Degen won the honor last week. 

Transactions 
ARIZ – The Heat acquired pitcher Danielle Henderson at the trading deadline, in exchange for a second round pick in the ’05 and ’06 drafts. 
NY/NJ – For the second time this season, the Juggernaut made a coaching change. Team owner Paul Plemenos replaced Manager Dina DeAquino on an interim basis. 

Notes 
The recently aired game between Team USA and the NPF East All-Stars earned a .57 rating on ESPN. 

The Arizona Heat and NPF recently announced that Pro Sports Radio would broadcast four of the Heat’s remaining home games live over the Internet. 

The next televised NPF game will be this Saturday evening at 7 p.m. EDT. The game will be shown on ESPN.