Akron Racers - Photo by Danny Karnik Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
Hoover, AL – August 22, 2014 - Jessica Garcia hit a solo home run and Lisa Norris threw a complete-game shutout to lead the Akron Racers to a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Bandits in the third and deciding game of their best-of-three series; Akron advances to play the USSSA Pride in the best-of-three finals starting tonight at the Hoover Met.
It was a pitchers’ duel for most of the game between Akron’s Lisa Norris and Chicago’s Monica Abbott. Through three innings, Norris had allowed no hits and one walk, while striking out two; Abbott had allowed one hit and one walk, striking out three.
Akron got on the board with one out in the top of the fourth when designated player Jessica Garcia hit a solo home run to left field off of Abbott. Racers centerfielder Taylor Schlopy followed the home run with a single to center, her second hit of the game, and stole second base (her second steal of the game). Third baseman Kelley Montalvo reached on an error by Chicago’s Amber Patton, and Schlopy advanced to third. Abbott ended the Akron half of the inning by striking out catcher Haley Outon and second baseman Ashley Thomas.
Norris threw a complete-game shutout in the victory, and she was dominant throughout. She retired the Bandits in order in four of the seven innings. She allowed just three baserunners, two base hits and one walk. Norris struck out three batters over the seven innings. Chicago only advanced one runner to second base through the first six innings of play.
Abbott went seven innings in the loss, allowing one run on five hits while striking out nine batters.
In addition to the two hits by Schlopy and the home run by Garcia, second baseman Ashley Thomas and leftfielder Jill Barrett each had a hit for Akron. Chicago’s two hits were by Patton and leftfielder Emily Allard.
Akron and USSSA will play a best-of-three series for the Cowles Cup. The first game is tonight at 7:00 p.m. The two teams will play again tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. and, if necessary, at 3:30 p.m.
Box Score: Click Here
Site: Hoover Metropolitan Stadium – Hoover, AL
Score: Racers 1, Bandits 0
Next Game: Championship Series Finals Game 1 - Friday, August 22, 2014, Akron Racers vs USSSA Pride 8:00 PM ET/ 7:00 PM CT. The game will be broadcasted live on CBS Sports Network. Channel Finder: http://www.cbssportsnetwork.com/channel-finder
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 Chicago Bandits
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of National Pro Fastpitch. Located in the Chicagoland area, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level. The roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May and Monica Abbott. The two-time NPF Champions play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women’s professional team.
About National Pro Fastpitch
National Pro Fastpitch is headquarted 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 name 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