LITTLE FALLS, NJ The NY/NJ Juggernaut (30-18) lost their second game in a row to the second place Akron Racers (32-16), 2-1, putting them two full games behind the Racers in the standings.
Akron scored early when an error by leftfielder Jen Smith with one out in the first inning allowed Akron second baseman Brandi Stuart, who led the inning off with a walk, to score. Juggernaut starter and NPF Player of the Week Kaci Clark (8-5) escaped further trouble and ended the inning when both centerfielder Iyhia McMichael and shortstop Kristen Johnson were tagged out at second base on the same play due to a base-running error. McMichael and Johnson both had singles off of Clark in the first inning. McMichael was 2-for-3 with a run scored on the night. Clark pitched seven full innings, giving up one earned run on eight hits, three walks, and three strikeouts.
Catcher Dana Degen put the Racers up 2-0 in the sixth when she singled home McMichael with two outs. Degen was 2-for-3 with an RBI on the night.
The Juggernaut put together a rally against Akron starter Brandee McArthur (9-7) in the bottom of the seventh inning, but fell short and only scored one run to cut the lead to 2-1. Catcher Germaine Fairchild singled home designated player Kellie Wilkerson with two outs to cut the lead, but McArthur got second baseman Carri Leto to end the inning and the game with a line drive to second base. Wilkerson was 1-for-3 with a run scored. McArthur pitched a complete game, giving up one earned run on five hits, one walk, and four strikeouts.
The Nauts will try to salvage the series when they take on the Racers in the final game of the series at 4:05 pm tomorrow.