(Courtesy of Scrap Yard Dawgs)
CONROE, TEXAS –– Going into tonight’s game, the series between the Scrap Yard Dawgs and the Akron Racers was tied 1-1 with the Scrap Yard taking game one and dropping last night’s contest to Akron. In the rubber match on Saturday it was the Dawgs earning a 6-5 walk-off win thanks to a two-run pinch-hit double by Jade Rhodes in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Racers came out swinging in the top of the first inning, but could not break through the defensive wall of the Dawgs when a line drive in the 5-6 hole was snagged by diving shortstop Madison Shipman to keep Akron scoreless.
A ‘strikeout-thrown out’ double play ended the top of the second inning for the Dawgs when starting pitcher Sara Driesenga struck out catcher Griffin Joiner and first baseman Sandra Simmons, who reached earlier on a walk, attempted to steal second on the third strike, but was thrown out by Dawgs catcher Taylore Fuller to end the side.
Racers veteran centerfielder Taylor Schlopy earned her 193rd career hit in the top of the third inning, a double to left field, which is a new Akron franchise record in career hits. With that double Schlopy has 40 hits on the season. An RBI double from Sami Fagan would score Schlopy for the first run of the game to put the Racers ahead 1-0.
The Dawgs answered right back in the bottom of the third when Madison Shipman earned the first hit for the Dawgs in RBI form, by scoring Britt Vonk who reached first base on a free pass, tying the game 1-1.
The fourth and fifth innings remained scoreless for the Racers on the arm of Driesenga with back-to-back 1-2-3 innings. For the Dawgs in the bottom of the fifth, the third hit of the night came from Vonk on a poke between Fagan and Montalvo at third base followed by a textbook bunt from Nerissa Myers to put runners on first and second with one away.
Montalvo made a full-effort diving catch to rob Shipman on a hard liner down the third base line. However, Amanda Fama came in clutch with an RBI single to left field to score Vonk for the second time tonight giving the Dawgs the lead for the first time in tonight’s game, 2-1.
Pinch hitter, Christi Orgeron laced a hard liner in the right-centerfield gap to bring around Fama and Myers extending the Dawgs lead to 4-1 later in the inning. The starting pitcher for the Racers, Rachele Fico was replaced by Laura Winter who got Emilee Koerner to fly out to centerfield to end the fifth inning.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the sixth inning, pinch hitter Shellie Robinson cleared the bases with a stand-up triple to tie up the game 4-4. The Dawgs brought in Monica Abbott out of the bullpen. Driesenga ended the night with five strikeouts on 5.2 innings pitched.
Fagan singled to right field in the top of the seventh inning for her third hit of the game. Another pinch hitter for the Racers, Sam Fischer, punched a triple in the right-center field gap to plate Fagan. When the ball bounced away behind home plate Fischer took off for home but was called out on the tag by Vonk who was covering home.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Winter is replaced by Jailyn Ford in the circle for Akron. After fouling off a few pitches, Shipman singled to shortstop putting runners on first and second as Meagan May-Whitley stepped into the box and delivered a sacrifice bunt to move the runners over.
With bases loaded Rhodes, a recent pick-up for the Dawgs, earned her first professional hit in walk-off fashion with a laser down the third base line to score Myers and Shipman to give the Dawgs the win.
The Racers will move forward to their final four games of the regular season, all against the first-place USSSA Pride. Monday, August 8th kicks off a two-game series at Firestone Stadium to begin the week with both games being televised on CBS Sports Network. Wednesday, August 10th, Akron and the Pride will travel to South Bend, Indiana and the University of Notre Dame for a game, before the regular season ends for both teams back in Akron on Friday, August 12th.
The Dawgs will be back Tuesday, August 9th at the Scrap Yard for another three-game series against the Pennsylvania Rebellion. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CDT.
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 (NPF)
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series. The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.
Note to Media
Photos and b-roll of players is available. Interviews with the league commissioner are welcomed, and top players from each team are accessible immediately. If you’re interested in pursuing story angles about professional softball for women, please don’t hesitate to contact us.