AKRON, OHIO- Akron catcher Kristen Butler supplied the Racers with the offensive firepower to overcome the visiting New England Riptide Wednesday night to open the series. Butler went 2 for 3 with a double, homerun, and two runs batted in as the Racers defeated the Riptide 3-2. Butler’s homerun, in the bottom of the fifth inning, broke a 2-2 tie to put the Racers ahead for good.
In the first, India Chiles got aboard with an infield single, and after stealing second base, Butler knocked her in with a double into the left centerfield gap. The Racers’ captain scored on a Susan Ogden two out single, to put Akron (12-9) up 2-0 after one inning.
The Riptide (10-15) did not go away, though. In the top of the third, Carri Leto Martin countered by reaching base on a Kate Robinson error, and then scored on an RBI single by Lyndsey Angus. New England then tied the score on a leadoff home run by Carmen Paez in the fourth inning.
Besides Butler, the Racer offense was led by Ogden who was 2 for 3 with the other RBI for the Akron.
New England’s Shanel Scott was 2 for 3, while Carmen Paez was 1 for 3 with a solo home run. Leadoff hitter Carri Leto Martin was 2 for 4 with a run scored.
Angel Shamblin started the game, grabbing the no-decision after pitching 4 innings and scattering seven hits, allowing just one earned run and three strikeouts.
Radara McHugh (2-2) walked away as the winner, after coming in with runners on first and second with no outs and the game tied in the top of the fifth inning. A sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk loaded the bases with one out for the Riptide. McHugh went to work and got the next two batters to strike out and check swing a ground ball to first baseman Kate Robinson, respectively, to escape the jam.
Angela Tincher recorded her first professional save, striking out five batters in the final two innings while giving up one base hit and no runs.
Jocelyn Forest (3-6) received the loss for New England after pitching five innings and allowing three earned runs on six hits.
The Racers will continue to host sixth place New England the next three nights from Thursday through Saturday. All of the games in the series will take place at 7:05 p.m. Thursday’s game will be Farmer’s Insurance Kids night and “Dollar Hot Dog” Night. Tickets to all home games can be purchased by calling the Racers’ ticket office at 330-376-8188 or by visiting akronracers.org.