Courtesy of Akron Racers
WASHINGTON, PA – July 16, 2013 – When the Akron Racers came to Washington, PA to play an exhibition game, the turf diamond at Consol Energy Park became a battle of different kinds, between men and women, between teammates and strangers.
As a part of the Frontier League’s All-Star Week festivities, the Racers played a six-inning game against the All-Stars after the league’s home run derby. Akron came out of the Battle of the Sexes the proud owners of a 5-2 win and the ability to say that they did indeed beat the boys.
Ivy Renfroe began the game on the pitching rubber for the Racers, fanning four Frontier Leaguers in her two innings of work. Erin Arevalo followed her for two innings, giving up one run but otherwise holding the All-Stars scoreless. Rachele Fico pitched the final two innings of the game, giving up one run but striking out four of the nine batters she faced.
Jen Mineau, on loan to the All-Stars for the evening, pitched the entire game against her teammates, giving up five runs while striking out two batters and hitting Kelley Montalvo with a pitch in the fourth inning. The plunking did not seem to create any animosity, however, since the pair high-fived as Montalvo made her way to first base.
The All-Stars battled back in the top of the third inning, tying the game on a double, a force out, and a sacrifice fly. Mineau sent her teammates down one-two-three in the bottom of the inning, leaving the game tied for the moment. The All-Stars tried to get on the board again in the top of the fourth inning when Byron Wiley of the Florence Freedom led off the inning with a triple. But his temporary teammates stranded him on third thanks to a superb catch by Taylor Schlopy at the center field fence.
The Racers bounced back in the bottom of the fourth inning, nearly batting around as they scored three runs on the heels of the hot bats of Sam Marder, Jessica Garcia, and Brigette Del Ponte. Marder led off the inning with a single, and Brittany Mack soon subbed in for her as a pinch runner. Two outs later Mack stood 60 feet away from the lead when Garcia’s double to right-center field sent her home. Del Ponte, who leads the Racers in longballs this season, then launched a two-run shot over the left-center field fence to give the Racers the necessary run support to seal the win.
The All-Stars tried to stage a comeback in the top of the sixth inning, scoring one run on back-to-back hits. But Fico sent the final two batters of the game down swinging, sealing this Battle of the Sexes win in favor of fastpitch.
The Racers next head to Chicago to play a four-game series starting Thursday at 8:05 p.m. EST against the Chicago Bandits. The Frontier League is scheduled to play its All-Star game tomorrow evening at 7:05 p.m.
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.
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Written by Nina Zimmerman for the Akron Racers