CONROE, TX – In a game that featured five lead changes, the Akron Racers lost their final road game of the 2017 regular season on Sunday, 7-6 in walk-off fashion to the Scrap Yard Dawgs. After Kayla Winkfield beat out an infield single and Brianna Cherry drew a walk, Anissa Urtez smacked a double to the wall in left field to drive in Winkfield for the deciding run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Akron (19-18) found themselves down 5-3 heading into the sixth inning, but managed to muster some late inning resiliency that is becoming a trademark of this season’s edition of the Racers. First baseman Nicole Schroeder was hit by a pitch and third baseman Kelley Montalvo ripped a single back up the middle with one out to put runners on first and second base. Right fielder Megan Geer then greeted new Dawgs (20-11) pitcher Morgan Foley by smashing a 2-2 pitch over the fence in centerfield for a three-run home run to give Akron a 6-5 lead.
Akron wouldn’t be able to hold the lead for long as the Dawgs answered back in the bottom half of the sixth inning. With two outs Brittany Cervantes lined a double to left-centerfield. Taylor Edwards followed Cervantes with an RBI single to tie the game 6-6. Cervantes ended the game 4-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI to lead the Dawgs.
The Racers opened the scoring in the top of the first inning with a two-out rally. Shortstop Sami Fagan knocked a base hit into right field and designated player Shellie Robinson followed Fagan with an RBI double into right-center field to score Fagan. Schroeder drove in Robinson with a single down the left field line to give Akron a 2-0 lead before the Dawgs came to bat.
The Dawgs got one of the runs back in the bottom of the first frame as Katiyana Mauga lifted a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to score Allexis Bennett. The home team would continue their comeback attempt, taking the lead in the bottom of the third inning. Cervantes doubled home Nerissa Myers to make the score 2-2 and then Mauga plated Cervantes with a two-out single to put the Dawgs ahead 3-2.
Racer catcher Griffin Joiner tied the game in the top of the fourth inning, lining a single into centerfield to score Montalvo.
After a single by Cervantes, a double by Edwards and a walk for Mauga loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Dawgs added two runs on groundouts to take a 5-3 lead into the sixth inning.
With the game tied 6-6 in the top of the seventh inning, the Racers got the go-ahead run in scoring position after centerfielder A.J. Andrews led off with a walk and second baseman Ashley Thomas sacrificed Andrews to second base. Dawgs reliever Cheridan Hawkins closed the door on Akron, striking out Fagan and forcing Robinson to foul out to end the inning. Hawkins earned the win, throwing one and two-thirds no-hit innings.
The Racers return home to Firestone Stadium on Tuesday, to begin a four-game series with the first place USSSA Pride as Akron battles for a spot in the four-team NPF Championship Series field in mid-August. The series with the Pride begins a 16-game homestand to conclude the regular season for the Racers. For more information or to purchase tickets contact the Akron 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.