VIERA, FL – A night after rallying to defeat the USSSA Pride, the Akron Racers found themselves needing some more late game magic, but this time the game ended with the tying run at the plate and the Pride taking home a 6-4 victory.
Akron struck first in the top of the second inning when first baseman Sam Fischer smashed her first home run of the season, a solo home run to right-center field. The Pride answered right back in the bottom half of the inning on a double by Andrea Duran that scored Chelsea Goodacre.
Shelby Pendley put the Pride ahead with a three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning that scored Lauren Chamberlain and Kelly Kretschman, giving the home team a 4-1 lead.
After Pendley’s home run, the Racers answered right back as rookie Nicole Schroeder hit the first home run of her professional career after setting Arkansas’ single season record for home runs this past spring. Schroeder’s two-run blast plated Sami Fagan and cut the deficit to 4-3.
The Pride added what would turn out to be two important insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning as Sierra Romero led off the frame with a home run and Andrea Duran scored on a ground ball off the bat of Hallie Wilson.
In the top of the seventh inning and needing three runs to tie the game, Akron turned to Shellie Robinson as a pinch hitter to lead off the inning. Robinson sent a shot over the fence in centerfield to cut the score to 6-4. Taylor Schlopy would follow two batters later with a two-out single, bringing shortstop Ashley Thomas to the plate as the tying run. Thomas connected and sent a line drive to the left side, but Pendley snagged the ball from her shortstop spot to end the game.
Akron and the Pride will decide the winner of their three-game series with the rubber match Saturday night with first pitch coming at 7:05 p.m. from USSSA Space Coast Stadium.
Tickets are on sale for the Racers 2017 home season at Firestone Stadium, which begins with opening week June 21 through July 2. The Racers begin the home season against the NPF’s newest team the Beijing Shougang Eagles from China. Tickets are also on sale for a special showing of Burn the Ships, the feature-length documentary on a year in the life of the Akron Racers. There will be two showings at the Akron-Summit County Public Library at 6:00 pm and 8:15 pm on Tuesday, June 20. There will also be a player meet and greet with the 2017 Akron Racers between the two showings. Call the Akron Racers box office at 330-376-8188 for more ticket information for both Racer games and the Burn the Ships showings.
(Photo Credit: Chicago Bandits, National Pro Fastpitch)
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 will celebrate their 16th season of play in 2017. 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 2004, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Akron Racers, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Chicago Bandits, Scrap Yard Dawgs, Texas Charge and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2017 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada and China among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.