AKRON, Ohio The Akron Racers completed a four-game sweep of the California Sunbirds with a 5-0 win at Firestone Stadium on Wednesday night. The Racers eight-game winning streak secures them first place in the league standings with a two game lead.
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) All-Star center fielder Iyhia McMichael blasted a towering two-run homer in the third inning to give the Racers their 19th win of the year. Her Summa Health Care Play of the Game helped her remain the NPF offensive leader with a .391 average.
Akron got to California pitcher Carla Brookbank-Schaal early in the first inning as NPF All-Star second baseman Brandi Stuart drew a lead-off walk and moved to second with her team-leading 11th stolen base. With two down and a runner in scoring position, catcher Dana Degen knocked a single to center field to score Stuart and put the Racers up 1-0. Degen went two-for-two on the night with an RBI and a walk to be named the Custom Sports Imprints Player of the Game.
The Racers touched Brookbank-Schaal, a former Akron Racer in 1999 and 2000, with two more runs in the third when designated player Antionette Armstrong drove a single to center, bringing McMichael to the plate. McMichael sent Brookbanks offering deep to left field, giving Akron the 3-0 advantage. McMichael went two-for-four with two RBIs and two runs scored in the evening.
Akron added runs in the fourth and fifth innings on RBI hits by Stuart and Akron native, third baseman Tracee McCoy. In the fourth, Stuart drove her second triple of the year to the deepest part of right-center field to bring in Heather Wright who reached on a fielders choice. McCoy added the Racers final run of the game in the bottom of the fifth with a line-drive single to left field, scoring McMichael. McCoy is currently riding a six-game hitting streak.
NPF Player of the Week Nikki Myers worked a complete game in the pitchers circle for the Racers, scattering six hits and striking out six without allowing a run, to complete the sweep of the Sunbirds.
The Racers are next in action as they travel to Lowell, Mass. to take on the New England Riptide on July 9-11. The Racers return to Firestone Stadium after the All-Star Break to host the second-place New York/New Jersey Juggernaut in a three-game series starting on July 15 at 7:05 p.m. For more information, call 330-376-8188 or log on to www.akronracers.org.