SAN MARCOS, TX – The Akron Racers started their five-game Texas road trip with a 4-1 loss at the hands of pitcher Lauren Haeger and the Texas Charge on Tuesday night. Haeger threw a complete game, allowing just one unearned run on four hits and two walks, striking out 12 hitters.
Akron (17-16) starter Megan Betsa and Haeger put offense at a premium through the first four innings, as the Charge (16-16) carried a 1-0 lead, after Koral Costa scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the first inning. Costa had previously reached first base on an error by Racer second baseman Ashley Thomas.
The score would remain 1-0 until the bottom of the fifth inning, after Breja’e Washington led off the inning with an infield single, Akron turned to the bullpen and reliever Alexis Silkwood. Taylor Gadbois greeted Silkwood with an infield single of her own, when Silkwood tried to catch Washington leaning off second base the throw went into centerfield to put runners on second and third base. Costa followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Washington. Right fielder Bailey Landry followed Costa with a base hit up the middle to bring home Gadbois and give Texas a 3-0 lead. Alisa Goler would later drive home Landry with a hit to right field to cap the inning.
Facing a 4-0 deficit, the Racers would not go quietly. The brightest spot for Akron offensively all night was centerfielder A.J. Andrews. After recording the Racers’ first two hits of the game in her first two at bats, Andrews drew a one-out walk in the top of the sixth inning. Andrews later scored on an error by Landry on a dropped fly ball off the bat of Jennifer Gilbert to cut the deficit to 4-1.
In the top of the seventh inning, singles by third baseman Kelley Montalvo and left fielder Kristen Wyckoff brought the tying run to the plate with two outs. Haeger, though, struck out pinch hitter Maddy Grimm to end the Akron rally and close the game.
Betsa threw four innings in defeat, allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits and one walk, while striking out one Charge hitter.
The Racers will meet Texas in the second game of the three-game series Wednesday night at 8:05 p.m. ET, looking to even the series. The game will be streamed on NPF TV. The Racers return to Akron on Tuesday, July 25 against the USSSA Pride with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets call the Racers ticket office at 330-376-8188.
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.