AKRON, OH – August 3, 2013 – Rebounding after a blowout loss against one of the greatest pitchers to ever grace the circle of a softball diamond is an astronomically tough task. But the Akron Racers accomplished the feat this evening, beating Cat Osterman and the USSSA Pride 3-1.
Downed by Sarah Pauly and drenched by a summer storm the previous night, the Racers turned to rookie Ivy Renfroe to turn the tides on the Pride. The same day she confirmed that she will not retire after this season, Osterman took to the circle against the Racers looking to extend the Pride’s three-game win streak to four. But Renfroe showed maturity beyond her rookie status as she skillfully maneuvered her way up and down the Pride lineup, allowing just one earned run and walking four while striking out three batters and earning her third win of the season.
USSSA showed their characteristic aggressiveness at the plate and got on the board first, scoring one run in the top of the first inning on GiOnna DiSalvatore’s sacrifice fly to deep right field that sent home Natasha Watley, who led off the game with a single.
But the Racers promptly responded in the bottom of the frame, thanks to back-to-back singles from leadoff hitter Kelley Montalvo and Ayumi Karino. In defiance of her recent struggles at the plate, Charlotte Morgan came up next and clobbered the first pitch she saw from Osterman into the left-center field gap for a two-run double that put Akron up and on the board 2-1.
The Racers didn’t wait long to score again, adding to their lead in the bottom of the second inning. Osterman intentionally walked Morgan to load the bases for Kaylyn Castillo, who ran the count to 2-2 before hitting an opposite-field single that easily sent home Aja Paculba. Those three runs proved to be all of the offense the Racers needed to beat Osterman.
The game became a pure pitcher’s duel after the second inning as both Renfroe and Osterman settled down and held both offenses scoreless for the remainder of the game. The Racers defense also came through in the clutch for her, making a number of game-saving plays while committing just one error. Osterman lost for just the third time this season, pitching another complete game and allowing three earned runs while walking four and striking out eight.
Akron and USSSA are scheduled to play the third game of this four-game series tomorrow afternoon, August 4, at 2:05 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased at the stadium an hour before gametime or online at www.akronracers.org.
-Ivy Renfroe pitched her fifth complete game and picked up her third win of the season.
-The Racers won their 14th game of the season, matching last year’s win total.
-Kelley Montalvo left the game in the second inning with a leg injury.
SITE: Firestone Stadium
SCORE: Racers 3, Pride 1
RECORDS: Racers (14-23), Pride (26-12)
NEXT RACERS GAME: Sunday, August 4 @ 2:05 p.m. vs. USSSA Pride
About the Akron Racers: The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, OH, are the oldest existing team in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. The Racers competed in the Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL) for two seasons in 1999 and 2000 and in the NPF since 2004. Historic Firestone Stadium is home to the Racers and numerous amateur events at all levels of play. The Racers kick off their 12th season of play in 2013.
About National Pro Fastpitch: National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.
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Written by Nina Zimmerman for the Akron Racers