AKRON, OH – August 18, 2013- While last night’s game between the Racers and Comets was definitely controlled by the Comets’ batters, today’s 9-2 victory was definitely controlled by the Racers’ pitcher, Rachele Fico. She threw all seven innings and gave up just two runs on six hits. Fico got a lot of help from her fielders who managed to turn three double plays in the game. The Racers batters got hot in the second and third innings and scored all nine of their runs in those two innings.
Rachele Fico started the game off well; she retired the first three batters she faced including a strike out to the Comets leadoff hitter, Angeline Quiocho. Angel Bunner also had a quick three up, three down inning in the first and recorded a strikeout of her own against Kelley Montalvo.
In the second inning, Fico retired the first three batters she faced again. She started off the inning by sending Dorian Shaw back to the dugout on strikes and Amanda Kamekona followed her back after grounding out. Fico ended the inning by sitting Amy Hooks down on strikes for her third strikeout in six batters.
Sam Marder kicked off the Racers half of the second inning with a walk and Jessica Garcia followed by recording the first hit of the game – a single into centerfield. But Garcia was tagged out on a fielder’s choice from Brigette Del Ponte.
In the final game of the regular season, Dara Toman, was given the nod to start at first base for her first NPF start and she made the most of the opportunity. In her fist at bat today, she recorded her first NPF hit and her first NPF RBI – a double into centerfield to score Marder, which gave the Racers an early 1-0 lead. Bunner walked the next two batters and Toman came home to score on the bases loaded walk to Taylor Schlopy and the Racers held a 2-0 lead at the end of the second inning.
The Comets did not record their first hit of the game until the third inning. Amy Hooks led off the inning and scooted one by Toman at first. But Kelley Montalvo turned the double play on Samie Garcia’s line drive to third and made the throw to first to first to get Hooks out before she could get back to first. Fico got the next batter to ground out and she recorded her third one, two, three inning of the game.
The Racers had a huge third inning – they scored seven runs and batted through the order. Kaylyn Castillo started the bottom half of the third inning with a towering homer to centerfield and bumped the Racers lead to 3-0. Jessica Garcia got on base with a one out single and Brigette Del Ponte followed with another single on an error by Bianca Mejia at shortstop. Toman walked on four pitches and loaded the bases for Aja Paculba. Paculba slapped one by Brittney Lindley at third and Garcia and Del Ponte came around to score. Karino laid down a bunt to load the bases again for Taylor Schlopy and the situation played out exactly as it had before with a walk that scored Toman. After the 6-0 Racers lead, Lindsey Richardson came in to relieve Bunner.
Bunner threw 2.1 innings and gave up six runs on seven hits. She struck out two batters, but she also walked six.
Lindsey Richardson did not fare any better against the Racers’ batters. She started the game by facing Kelley Montalvo, who dropped one just fair along the third base line and brought home all three Racers on base to give Akron a 9-0 lead at the end of three innings.
Fico had another quick inning in the fourth. She sat down the first three batters she faced, all of whom flied out. In the first four innings, she did not face more than three batters and she had thrown just 57 pitches through the first four innings.
The Comets recorded their second hit of the game in the fifth inning when Dorian Shaw led off the inning by sending a screaming liner back to the circle and Fico was unable to come up with the ball. Nevertheless, the Racers turned the double play again when Amanda Kamekona hit one to Montalvo and Dorian Shaw was called out for runner interference. Fico gave up her first walk to Courtney Liddle, but Amy Hooks hit the ball back to the circle and Fico made the throw to first for the final out.
The Comets were finally able to get on the board in the sixth inning after Angeline Quiocho hit one deep over the left field fence to score Sykora from first. Samie Garcia led off the top of the sixth inning with a single to give the Comets their third hit of the game. The Racers almost turned their third double play of the game on Christina Sykora’s hit Paculba at second, but she beat the throw to first by a step. Angline Quiocho’s home run made it a 9-2 ball game.
The Racers finally got their third double play of the game when Dorian Shaw hit a grounder to first and Dara Toman stepped on the bag and threw it to second to end the sixth inning.
Rachele Fico threw 7.0 innings and gave up two runs on six hits. She walked two and struck out three while throwing 114 pitches. Lindsey Richardson threw 3.2 innings and did not allow on the run, though she did give up five hits. She also struck out two and walked two.
The Racers return to action against the Comets again on Thursday, August 22 at 7:00 pm in the first game of the NPF Championship series in Chicago. They finished the 2013 season with a record of 16 wins and 32 losses.
-Aja Paculba was three-for-three at the plate today; the first time she has been perfect at the plate in a game all season.
- All nine of the Racers position players recorded a hit in todays game.
- Rachele Fico’s record jumps to (6-7), while Angel Bunner’s record falls to (4-10).
SITE: Firestone Stadium
SCORE: Racers 9, Comets 2
RECORDS: Racers (16-32), Comets (10-38)
NEXT RACERS GAME: Thursday, August 22 @ 7:00 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 11th season of play in 2012.
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 Ben Schwartz for the Akron Racers