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Akron Racers Fall to USSSA Pride 11-5; Pride Completes Series Sweep


AKRON, OH – July 7, 2013
– The Akron Racers dropped the last game of the four-game seires against the USSSA Pride.  The final score was 11-5.  The Pride got their runs in bunches; they scored five runs in the second inning and six runs in the fifth inning.  The Racers have now dropped seven in a row.
 
Rachele Fico took the circle for her second start of the season, while Cat Osterman threw for the Pride.  Fico threw for four innings before she was replaced by Jen Mineau.  Fico finished the game with a line of seven hits, ten runs, three walked batters and two strike outs.  
 
Fico got off to a great start; she did not give up a hit or run in the first inning, though she did put Caitlin Lowe on base after she was hit by a pitch.  She got into pitchers counts early in the count, but was not able to capitalize as much as she would have liked.  She threw first pitch strikes to 15 of the 23 batters she faced and had “three-up, three-down” innings in the third and fourth innings. In the second inning, she gave up five runs. Brigette Del Ponte tried to turn a double play but overthrew Tess Sito at second and Kristyn Sandberg scored on the error.  Then Francesca Enea, sacrifice bunted to bring Duran home from the third and Natasha Watley capped off the inning with a three run homer to right field.  
 
In the fourth inning, it was Jessica Garcia who got Akron on the board first, launching a towering solo home run on a 1-2 count with two outs.  Sam Marder immediately followed her with another long ball on the first pitch to bring the score up to 5-2 when the fourth inning was over.  
 
After Fico gave up three runs in the fifth, Mineau came on in relief with no outs and runners on second and third and tried her best to limit the damage.  She quickly got Krysten Sandberg to ground out on the first pitch but gave up a triple to Haruna Sakamoto, which brought Kelly Kretschman and Gionna DiSalvatore home to bring the score up to 10-2.  Nikia Williams sac flied to left field foul territory for out number two, but Sakamoto scored from third on the same play for the last of USSSA’s 11 runs.   Finally, Francesca Enea grounded out to bring a halt the Pride’s bats.  
 
Mineau quickly got through the sixth and seventh innings sitting the first three batters she faced in both innings.  Mineau finished the day with a line of one hit, one runs, no walks, and two strikeouts.
 
Cat Osterman pitched five innings for the Pride and finished the game with an impressive stat line.  She gave up four hits, two runs, one walk, and had eight strikeouts.  She struck out five in a row across the second and third innings.  
 
Osterman was replaced by Sarah Pauly at the start of the bottom of the sixth and promptly loaded the bases with three straight walks to Morgan, Castillo, and Garcia.  Marder followed Garcia’s walk with a long double to right field and brought Morgan and Castillo home. Pauly finished the game with a stat line of two hits, three runs, five walks, and two strikeouts in just two innings of play.  
 
In the bottom of the seventh, Ayumi Karino started off the Racers with a leadoff walk.   Charlotte Morgan followed her with a three pitch strikeout for the first out and then Karino became the second out on a fielders choice after Castillo slapped a grounder to second.  Castillo scored the fifth and final run for the Racers on a long double hit by Jessica Garcia into right field. Sam Marder popped out to centerfield for the last out of the game. 
 
The Racers will finish up their three-series homestand with a five game series aganst the NY/NJ Comets beginning Wednesday, July 10 at 7:05 p.m. The games on Wednesday and Thursday will be taped to be broadcast nationally at a date to be determined.  The radio station, WKAR, will broadcast the Thursday, July 11 game.
 
Notes: 
- Sam Marder was 3-4 at the plate today getting three hits at three at-bats.  She also had three RBIs for the game.
-Cat Osterman threw eight strikeouts during the game, including five straight across the second and third innings. She now has a record of 8-1.
-Rachele Fico made her second start of the season for the Racers.  She has a record of 1-2 following today’s loss. 
 
SITE: Firestone Stadium
SCORE: Pride 11, Racers 5
RECORDS: Racers (6-13), Pride (15-5)
NEXT RACERS GAME: Wednesday, July 10 @ 7:05 p.m. vs. NY/NJ Comets 
 
 
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 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. The Racers kick off their 11th season of play in 2012.
 
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.
 
--- RACERS ---
Written by Ben Schwartz for the Akron Racers