AKRON, OH- In the first game of a doubleheader, the Akron Racers (13-12) defeated the USSSA Pride (13-7) by a score of 5-4.
The Pride took an early 2-0 lead when Megan Wiggins doubled in Natasha Watley and then scored on a throwing error. Sarah Pauly (Texas A&M Corpus Christi) settled after the first inning and only allowed two runs throughout the rest of the game.
Chelsea Thomas started the game for the Pride and kept the Racers off the board for the first two innings.
Ashley Thomas (Georgia Tech) led the third inning off with a single for the Racers and Ayumi Karino (Japan) followed with a bunt single. Jill Barrett (Tulsa) singled up the middle after Karino and drove in Thomas. Nerissa Myers (Louisiana Lafayette) sacrificed the two runners into scoring position, but the Racers could not capitalize.
Kelley Montalvo (Alabama) smashed her third homerun of the year to dead center to tie the game at two and Griffin Joiner (Kentucky) followed with her first NPF hit as she doubled to left center. Thomas stayed hot and singled up the middle to put runners on first and third. The Pride were forced to bring in Hannah Rogers in relief after the consecutive hits given up by Chelsea Thomas. Rogers came into the game in a jam, but escaped without giving up a run.
Natasha Watley singled to start the top of the fifth inning and Kelly Kretschman drove her in with a blistering double to right-center field, giving the Pride a 3-2 lead. Pauly struck out Megan Wiggins to limit the damage in the fifth.
Nerissa Myers started the inning with a double over the Watley’s head in left field and Taylor Schlopy clobbered a homerun over the right field fence to give the Racers a 4-3 lead. The homerun was Schlopy’s sixth on the year and tied her for the league lead. Montalvo continued her impressive game with a double in the right-center gap, forcing Rogers out of the game. Andi Williamson relieved Rogers in the bottom of the fifth and stranded Montalvo on second by striking out Joiner.
Neriss Myers gave the Racers an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when she singled through the right side and drove in Jill Barrett who had doubled.
Shelby Pendley launched a solo homerun in the top of the seventh to bring the Pride within one. Taylor Schlopy saved the game for the Racers by making an outstanding grab, falling over the fence, robbing Goodacre of a game-tying homerun.
Sarah Pauly pitched a complete game en route to picking up with win for the Racers, improving her record to 6-2 on the season. Hannah Rogers took the loss for the Pride, dropping her record to 1-2.
“Our table setters have done a great job getting on base this year. When you get on base that much, something good is going to happen eventually” said coach Brian Levin.
Location: Firestone Stadium
1575 Firestone Parkway
Akron, Ohio 44301
Final Score: USSSA Pride:4 Akron Racers:5
Records: USSSA Pride: (13-7) Akron Racers: (13-12)
Next Racers Game: Thursday, July 9th 7:05pm
For more information about the Akron Racers visit www.akronracers.org or call 330-376-8188
About the Akron Racers: The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, OH, is 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 14th season of play in 2015.
About National Pro Fastpitch: National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fast pitch 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 o Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women's fast pitch softball since 2002. www.profastpitch.com