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RACERS FINALIZE THREE, FRANCHISE TAG ONE ON EVE OF FREE AGENCY

NICOLE TRIMBOLI

Racers finalize three contracts, franchise tag one on eve of Free Agent deadline

AKRON, Ohio – Feb. 15, 2012 – With a 5 p.m. ET deadline looming before free agency begins in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league, Akron Racers GM Joey Arrietta announced the re-signing of infielder Megan Bush, catcher Sam Marder and first baseman Hoku Nohara. NPF veteran Nicole Trimboli has been franchise tagged to allow for more time to discuss re-signing with the Racers.

“I’m very excited to have these three strong players back for the 2012 season,” said Arrietta. “Marder performed very well behind the plate and in the batter’s box last season and we expect she’ll continue heading toward the front of the NPF in production. I have confidence that given more opportunities, Bush and Nohara will reach their full potential this season with the Racers.”

Sam Marder led the Racers in batting average (.403), home runs (7) and was second in RBIs (17) and hits (31) in 2011. Marder also spent time behind the plate as the main catcher for 2011 All-NPF pitcher Kristina Thorson. Arguably the team’s offensive MVP, Sam Marder hopes for another great season this year.

“I am honored to be asked back to be part of such a great organization,” said Marder. “The Racers really are a family and I could not be happier to be able to play with this family for another season. You couldn’t ask for a more supportive staff to work for and I would especially like to thank Coach Iverson, Joey [Arrietta] and Craig Stout for giving me this opportunity. I am excited to get back on the field and work as hard as I can with my teammates to bring a championship back to Akron.”

Megan Bush finished the 2011 season with a .222 batting average, a .386 on-base percentage and a .333 slugging percentage. Her seven RBIs ranked her at fourth on the Racers roster. A university of Florida graduate, Bush saw limited time last season due to her college appearance in the Women’s College World Series and shoulder issues. The Racers and Bush are expecting a full recovery and a banner year for the young infielder this season.

Hoku Nohara hopes to rebound in 2012 with the Racers after struggling to find her swing in 2011. Nohara will see more opportunities at the plate and in the field this season as the Racers look for her to re-spark her bat and help provide more run support for the pitching staff.

NPF veteran Nicole Trimboli has been tagged with the Franchise tag, giving the Racers organization and Trimboli more time to discuss a 2012 contract. The new deadline for contract discussions with Trimboli is April 30.

The Akron Racers open the 2012 season on Thursday, June 7, with a regular season opener against the newly formed Carolina Diamonds. Season tickets for the 2012 season are on sale now and can be ordered by calling 330-376-8188.

About the Akron Racers: The Akron Racers are headquartered in Akron, Ohio. The team has been around since its inception in 1999 and has played at Firestone Stadium for a combined 10 seasons. The Racers entered the NPF in 2004 as one of the founding teams in the league. The Racers were members of the Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL).

About National Pro Fastpitch: National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch 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 fastpitch softball since 2002.

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