Akron, Ohio - Alicia Hollowell was near perfect Thursday night for the Akron Racers (24-17) against the Mid-Michigan Ice as the Racer starter shut out the visitors to lead Akron to a 5-0 victory.
Hollowell was hitting all of her spots and had the Ice batters baffled with her variations of speed. Hollowell only allowed two runners on base as she gave up a lead off walk to shortstop Becky Manson in the top of the second. Manson would be caught stealing second by catcher Jenn Poore shortly after reaching base.
The only hit allowed by Hollowell came with one out in the visitors' half of the third inning on a dribbler between Hollowell and first baseman Jamee Juarez. By the time Hollowell fielded the ball she had no chance to get the batter, Meaggan Pettipiece, at first base.
From there, Hollowell would retire the final eight batters she faced before being relieved by Radara McHugh to start the sixth inning. Hollowell ended the day allowing only a hit and walk while striking out nine in five innings of work and recording fifteen outs on sixteen batters faced.
McHugh allowed a free pass and base hit to the first two batters she faced, but then retired the next six in order to close out the game.
While Hollowell (5-5) and McHugh were shutting down the Ice, the Racers offense was picking at Michigan starter Shaina Ervin, getting a run here and there throughout the game.
It started in the bottom of the first inning when leadoff hitter Norrelle Dickson lined her first of three singles on the day through the infield. Dickson raised her league leading batting average to .391. After Dickson stole second and third base, Iyhia McMichael hit a groundout to shortstop to score Dickson on the second out of the inning, making the score 1-0.
Another run was added in the home half of the third inning, after McMichael recorded a two out single to start the inning. After McMichael stole second, Caitlin Benyi plated her with an RBI single.
The Racers came back in the fourth inning and loaded the bases with nobody out on base hits by Jamee Juarez and Dickson, along with a walk to Kristin Johnson. Veronica Wootson drove in Juarez with a sacrifice fly and Kristen Butler grounded into a fielder's choice to score Johnson to extend the lead to 4-0.
That closed the book on Michigan starter, Shaina Ervin, who went five innings allowing, four runs, three earned, on seven hits and four walks.
The final run of the game came in the bottom of the sixth inning after the Racers loaded the bases with no outs yet again. Butler hit an RBI single to rightfield, but Dickson was too aggressive and stuck the Racers with two runners on third. After two run downs the double play was completed to end the inning.
The Racers win coupled with a Rockford Thunder loss Wednesday night and a loss for the Philadelphia Force Thursday night places the Racers in sole possession of second place in the NPF standings.
The Racers and Michigan Ice go back at it again for game two of the four game series Friday night at 7:05 P.M.
For ticket information contact the Racer ticket office at (330)376-8188.