AKRON, OH – The next player the Akron Racers are recognizing as one of the 30 players that has had the most significant impact on the franchise in its 15th Season of Play is the phenomenal former catcher Jenny Topping. Topping’s ability to be an offensive force, while also helping to guide some of the best pitchers in franchise history from behind the plate makes her an obvious choice as the next IMPACT honoree.
“Jenny Topping proved that left-handed catchers are the real deal behind the plate,” explained GM Joey Arrietta. “Jenny was so talented and handled every pitcher no matter what they threw at her.”
Topping signed with the Racers in 2005 while still a member of the USA Team. In her rookie season, Topping had the third highest batting average on the team, hitting .377, with two home runs, 16 runs scored and 16 RBI. In that same year, Topping was an NPF East All-Star selection, and was a key contributor to the Racers 2005 Cowles Cup Championship.
Topping was key to the Racers’ success in the championship game, blasting a double to right field with one out in the top of the seventh inning with Akron down 4-3. Jackie Poggendorf entered the game to pinch run for Topping. Poggendorf went on to score the game-tying run that set up the extra inning victory.
Topping’s greatest on field attribute was her ability to do whatever it took to get on base. Her .479 on-base percentage is second place all-time in the Racer record book, behind only fellow IMPACT honoree Crystl Bustos, who averaged .482. Topping’s .328 batting average is currently tied for fifth place among All-Time Racers.
In 2006, Topping hit for a .242 average, picking up eight hits, one home run and six RBI as she split her time with the Racers and Team USA. Topping’s .455 slugging percentage was good for third on the team.
Topping was a member of Team USA since 2002 but the Racers ultimately would share Topping from 2005-2008, returning to the Racers for the 2009 season. In that season, Topping got to work with some young pitchers on the staff, including a rookie sensation Lisa Norris, who would go on to great success as a Racer and now owns most of the significant records in Akron pitching history.
Offensively, Topping was fourth on the Racers with a .319 batting average. Her 24 RBI was second behind only Crystl Bustos on the team that year. She also had four home runs and four doubles, while scoring 14 runs. Topping had eight extra base hits the second-highest slugging percentage on the team at .495.
For her three-year career as a Racer, Topping had a .328 batting average, 15 doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 35 runs and 46 RBI.
Topping and the other 29 IMPACT honorees will be recognized this summer, culminating in a weekend-long celebration July 15-17 when the Racers welcome the Dallas Charge to Firestone Stadium for a three-game series. The Racers will welcome back many of their former players to celebrate the history of the franchise, culminating in the pre-game presentation of the 30 IMPACT honorees on July 16th. Each honoree will receive a special commemorative jersey bearing their name and number.
2016 Akron Racers IMPACT Honorees (to date)
1. Carla Brookbank Schaal 9. Radara McHugh
2. Crystl Bustos 10. Iyhia McMichael
3. Amy Kyler 11. Nicole Trimboli
4. Sarah Dawson 12. Brandee McArthur
5. Nicole Odom Reis 13. Jenny Topping
6. Tobin Echo-Hawk
7. Kellyn Tate
8. Kristin Johnson
About the Akron Racers: The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, OH, are the oldest existing team in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league, celebrating their 15th season of play in 2016. 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.
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 Pro 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.