AKRON, OH – August 15, 2013 – Heading into the final weekend of the National Pro Fastpitch regular season, both the Akron Racers and the NY/NJ Comets rode losing streaks of six and four games, respectively. The Racers extended their skid to seven games as the Comets snapped their streak at four games when NY/NJ beat Akron 12-5 on Thursday evening.
The Racers sent rookie Ivy Renfroe to the circle to face Angel Bunner of the Comets, creating a rematch of the two teams’ July 31 game, which the Comets won. NY/NJ jumped on Renfroe early, scoring three runs right off the bat in the top of the first inning. But the Racers returned fire with one run in the bottom of the frame when Taylor Schlopy scored on Charlotte Morgan’s groundout. Schlopy would end the game 3-4 with a run scored and two RBI.
Akron jumped ahead the next inning, tacking on three more runs in the bottom of the second inning on RBI hits from Schlopy and Ayumi Karino. Karino also had an impressive evening at the plate for Akron, going 2-3 with two RBI and one run scored.
But the Comets came alive in the top of the fourth inning, scoring six runs to take a 9-4 lead. Bianca Mejia and Courtney Liddle hit a three-run home apiece before the inning’s end, and Mejia’s helped chase Renfroe from the game in favor of Hillary Bach with one out in the inning. Bach came in with two runners on, but Liddle sent her third pitch over the fence for a home run. In just over three innings of work, Renfroe surrendered eight runs and seven earned runs on eight hits, walking four batters and earning her ninth loss of the season. The Comets tacked on another pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning and another in the top of the seventh to put themselves further ahead. Akron added one more run in the bottom of the sixth inning, but it was not enough to overcome the Comets’ lead.
Even with the loss, the Racers saw several flashes of light. After missing the past several weeks with a foot injury, Racers veteran ace Lisa Norris returned to the diamond to pitch a few innings in relief. Norris pitched the final two innings of the game for Akron, facing nine batters and giving up one earned run while walking one and striking out two. The Racers also continued to show their defensive prowess. Despite committing one error, Akron defenders made several solid plays. On the right side of the field, Ayumi Karino made several running catches in foul territory from her post in right field while Aja Paculba made a leaping grab of a pop fly right on the edge of the infield in the second inning. On the left side, Kelley Montalvo continued to prove her mastery of the hot corner with a few nice grabs of her own at third base.
The Racers and the Comets are scheduled to continue this final regular season series tomorrow evening, Friday August 16 at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at www.akronracers.org or by calling the ticket office at (330) 376-8188.
-Bunner pitched her ninth complete game of the season for her third win.
-Taylor Schlopy went 3-4 with 2 RBI and a run scored for the Racers.
-Dorian Shaw finished the evening 4-4 with 4 RBI.
SITE: Firestone Stadium
SCORE: Racers 5, Comets 12
RECORDS: Racers (14-31), Comets (8-36)
NEXT RACERS GAME: Friday, August 16 @ 7:05 p.m. vs. NY/NJ Comets
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