AKRON, OHIO - The fans at Firestone Stadium cheered as right fielder Susan Odgen rounded the bases after hitting an apparent three-run home run to tie the game at four in the first inning. However it was not to be as Ogden was called out after passing first baseman Kate Robinson while running the bases.
The Racers coaches would vehemently protest the umpires’ decision to no avail and assistant coach Marcus Smith was ejected from the ballgame. The momentum the Racers gained was gone and they would never recover, losing game two of this four game series, 6-4.
The Bandits came out firing on all cylinders. Chicago had four of the first five batters get hits with a two-run home run by left fielder Nicole Trimboli capping off a four run first inning for the Bandits.
The Racers countered in the first with three runs of their own, Veronica Wootson, Norrelle Dickson and Kate Robinson all singled before the Susan Ogden home run that wasn’t, to bring the score back to 4-3.
Akron and Chicago traded runs in the third inning, Chicago right fielder Jaime Clark hit a solo home run in the top of the third inning to make the score 5-3, but the Racers would pull back within one in the bottom half of the inning by plating third baseman Norrelle Dickson thanks in part to two Bandit errors.
Clark struck again in the fifth inning with her second solo shot of the night to make the score 6-4.
The Racers would never threaten again. Shortstop Angelena Mexicano reaching on an error in the seventh inning was the only Racers base runner in the final four frames.
The Racers were led offensively by Robinson who went 2-3 with a run batted in and Ogden who drove in two runs on the night.
The Bandits were led by the power hitting duo Clark and Trimboli. Clark went 3-4 with two home runs and three RBIs and Trimboli went 2-4 with a home run and two RBIs.
Veteran Radara McHugh (2-4) started for the Racers and lasted four innings and allowed all six runs on nine hits. Jamee Juarez came on in relief and pitched great going three innings while only allowing two hits and no runs.
The Bandits countered with Jessica Sallinger (10-6) who struggled early but would settle in to retire 12 straight Racers at one point. Sallinger allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits while striking out seven.
The loss drops the Racers to 19-19 on the season while the Bandits improve to 22-16. The Bandits have now taken the last three and five of the last six games between the two teams.
The Racers host the Bandits again Monday and Tuesday night in the final home series of the year for the Racers. Monday night features a Back to School Pencil Kit giveaway, while Tuesday is Fan Appreciation Night at Firestone Stadium with first pitch slated for 7:05 for both games. Tickets to all home games can be purchased by calling the Racers’ ticket office at 330-376-8188 or by visiting akronracers.org.