AKRON, OH – Aug. 4, 2013 – During the last two series between the Akron Racers and USSSA Pride, the teams have traded wins, and Sunday was no exception to the familiar pattern.
One day after the Racers limited Florida to one run and handed Cat Osterman just her third loss of the season, the Pride exploded for 13 hits in the 12-4 victory.
The Pride took an early advantage, claiming a 3-0 edge in the top of the second. After a pair of walks and a fielding error loaded the bases for the Pride, Megan Willis made the Racers pay with a two-RBI single down the left field line. Natasha Watley also came through for Florida, pushing an RBI single past the glove of second baseman Tess Sito.
Florida struck again in the third, tagging the Racers for six runs off five hits. The Racers called to the bullpen during the inning after the Pride combined for three hits and a run off starting pitcher Hillary Bach. The team wasted little time against reliever Ivy Renfroe, though, as Ashley Charters sent out her sixth home run of the season, pushing the Pride’s lead to 9-0.
Ricketts kept the Racers off the board through the first two innings, but Akron was able to break through for a three-run third inning. The Racers loaded the bases after Ricketts hit former University of Oklahoma teammate Brianna Turang and gave up a pair of singles to Jessica Garica and Ayumi Karino. Kaylyn Castillo, Sam Marder and Brigette Del Ponte kept the rally alive for the Racers, stringing together a pair of RBI singles and a sacrifice fly.
The Pride wasn’t satisfied with the 9-3 advantage, though, and added a run in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings. Erin Arevalo entered in relief in the top of the fifth and allowed two runs off four hits.
Rookie Chelsea Thomas replaced Ricketts in the fourth and pitched one scoreless inning but was unable to contain the Racers in the fifth.
Karino led off in the inning with her second single of the day, then quickly moved to third on a fielding error by Jenn Salling Castillo’s sacrifice fly to left field brought home the fourth and final run for the Racers.
With the loss, the Racers fall to 14-24 on the season but will look to bounce back against the Pride at 7:05 p.m. Monday at Firestone Stadium.
- The Pride utilized their bullpen in the 12-4 victory, using Keilani Ricketts, Chelsea Thomas, Blaire Luna and Jordan Taylor.
- Sam Marder went 3-4 during the contest, improving her season batting average to . 257.
- Thomas earned her first win for the Pride. She is now 1-1 during her rookie season.
SITE: Firestone Stadium
SCORE: Pride – 12, Racers - 4.
RECORDS: Pride (27-12). Racers (14-24).
NEXT RACERS GAME: Monday, Aug. 5 @ 7:05 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 kickoff 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: Sara Bell