AKRON, OH – August 10, 2013 – Less than an hour after playing one ballgame, the Akron Racers and the Chicago Bandits returned to the Firestone Stadium diamond for their second-to-last regular season meeting of 2013. Despite a late rally, the Racers fell once again to the Bandits 6-2.
Akron sent Rachele Fico to the circle, seeking redemption from the loss earlier in the day. She faced Andi Williamson of the Bandits, who beat the Racers on Opening Day back at the beginning of June. After sending the Bandits down in order in the first inning, Fico ran into a little pothole in the top of the second inning when Chicago put two runners in scoring position with just one out. But she got Kimi Pohlman and Brittany Cervantes, both of whom hit home runs in the first game, to strike out swinging on 2-2 counts to end the inning.
The Racers had a chance in the bottom of that inning, when Sam Marder drew a one-out walk from Bandits starter Andi Williamson. One out later, Brigette Del Ponte walked to put runners on first and second for Tess Sito. Sito singled just over the head of the second baseman, but the Bandits threw Marder out at the plate as she tried to make it home.
The Bandits broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fifth inning, putting three runs on the board off of Fico thanks to doubles by Brittany Cervantes and Alisa Goler, a walk by Nerissa Myers, and a single by Kristen Butler that sent Fico to the bench. The Racers brought in Fico’s former Louisiana State University teammate Brittany Mack to replace her, and Mack responded by striking out Tammy Williams to end the inning. Mack went 1.1 scoreless innings before giving up two-RBI single to Eri Yamada in the top of the seventh inning. Hillary Bach replaced Mack and allowed an RBI single to Goler before retiring the next three batters to end the inning. Heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, Chicago had a 6-0 advantage.
Akron’s bats finally pushed two runs across the board in the bottom of the seventh, spearheaded by Marder’s leadoff single. Two outs later the Racers’ first crossed the plate when Ayumi Karino, who entered the game to run for Marder, dashed home on Sito’s double. Sito herself scored on a rare error by Bandits’ third baseman Amber Patton, but Williamson struck out Taylor Schlopy to end the game. The Racers had many missed opportunities throughout the afternoon and into the night, however, and left 15 total runners on base. They had just two extra-base hits, Aja Paculba’s double in the first game and Sito’s double in the second game. The Bandits also turned five total double plays against the Akron offense.
The Racers and the Bandits are scheduled to finish this four-game series, their final regular season series against each other, tomorrow afternoon at 2:05 p.m. at Firestone Stadium. Tickets are still available either online at www.akronracers.org or by calling the ticket office at (330) 376-8188.
-Rachele Fico took the loss for the Racers, going 4.2 innings and giving up three runs.
-Andi Williamson pitched a complete game with four strikeouts for her eighth win of the season.
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 12th season of play in 2013.
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