Charlotte Morgan Photo Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
Akron, OH – August 10, 2014 – It was a hot Sunday afternoon at Firestone Stadium, as the Racers took the field looking to win their series against the USSSA Pride.
The Pride jumped to an early lead, when Caitlin Lowe doubled and advanced to third on a wild pitch from Racers starter Lisa Norris. Kelly Kretschman then reached on an error by Charlotte Morgan that allowed Lowe to score.
They added to the lead in the second inning, after Norris walked GiOnna DiSalvatore. Kristyn Sandberg, Natasha Watley, Lowe, Kretschman and Andrea Duran all singled, producing five more runs for the Pride. That would end Norris’ day, having thrown 1.2 innings and allowing 6 runs (4 earned) on 6 hits, walking one. Rachele Fico entered the game and got Amanda Kamekona to fly out to left to end the inning.
The Racers responded in the bottom of the inning with a solo home run off the bat of Taylor Schlopy.
The Pride extended their lead in the 4th inning, after Brejae Washington reached base on an error by catcher Jessica Garcia. Watley then reached on a fielder’s choice, as the Racers got Washington out at second. A fielding error by Nerissa Myers allowed Lowe to reach base, as Watley moved into scoring position. Kretschman’s single then plated Watley, and allowed Kretschman to advance to second on the throw home. Duran followed suit and singled to center to drive in Kretschman. The Racers answered with a relief pitcher, bringing in Lannah Campbell to finish the inning, as she got Kamekona to line out to center field.
Fico threw 1.2 innings and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits. Campbell would complete the game for the Racers, throwing the final 3.2 innings and allowing no runs on 3 hits, walking 1 and striking out 1.
The Racers would add a run in the bottom of the 7th, when Olivia Watkins singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Ayumi Karino grounded out and moved Watkins to third before Haley Outon reached on an error by Keilani Ricketts that allowed Watkins to score. The Racers comeback would fall short though, as they didn’t add another run, and fell to the Pride 8-2.
The Racers split the series with the Pride and take their momentum and confidence into Chicago for their last regular season series. Racers first baseman Charlotte Morgan, who was playing her final game at Firestone Stadium, says the team is peaking at the right time. “Early in the season we were just trying to figure each other out,” says Morgan. “Now, we have confidence together and I think the biggest thing is that we believe in each other and we’re having fun.”
Racers Field Manager Brian Levin attributed much of the Racers success to Morgan’s leadership and dedication. “She’s irreplaceable. I keep trying to talk her into staying, but it’s not doing any good,” says Levin. “She’s a coach on the field, a consummate professional and always working hard and putting in extra time.”
The Racers will travel to Chicago for a four game series against the Bandits before heading to Hoover, Alabama for the National Pro Fastpitch Championship Series. For more information about the Akron Racers, visit http://www.akronracers.org or call (330) 376-8188.
Box Score: Click Here
Site: Firestone Stadium – Akron, OH
Score: Pride 8, Racers 2
Records: Pride (30-14), Racers (22-22)
Next Pride Game: Thursday, August 14th at 7:05pm ET vs PA Rebellion at Osceola County Stadium – Kissimmee, FL
Next Racers Game: Wednesday, August 13th at 6:30 PM CT vs Chicago Bandits at the Ballpark at Rosemont – Rosemont, Ill. This game will be broadcasted by CBS Sports Network
About USSSA Florida Pride
The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
About 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 13th season of play in 2014.
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. - See more at: http://www.profastpitch.com/news/?article_id=2248#sthash.iw6fmLLa.dpuf