Monica Abbott Photo by Jade Hewitt Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
AKRON, OH (July 8, 2016) – The Scrap Yard Dawgs defeated the Akron Racers in their first appearance at Firestone Stadium, thanks in large part to a big third inning offensively for the Dawgs and excellent pitching by starter Monica Abbott throughout the game.
The Racers (13-11) were first on the board with a solo home run from third baseman Kelley Montalvo (Alabama) in the bottom of the first inning. Montalvo launched a rocket down the left field line that stayed fair, after Montalvo robbed Dawgs third baseman Amanda Fama of an RBI hit when she soared into the air to snag a line drive down the third baseline for the final out in top of the first inning.
“I really just tried to get the momentum for my team,” Montalvo said. I was just trying to get a good at bat. Whatever it was, I just wanted to get it started for my team and get the momentum on our side.”
Abbott was in control for most of the game following the Montalvo home run, retiring the next 16 hitters she faced. Abbott (10-1) finished the game allowing three hits and striking out 13 hitters.
“Today Monica was pretty sharp. I think sometimes you just tip your hat and say good job, nothing much you can do about it,” Racers coach Brian Levin said.
Abbott’s ability to keep Akron off the scoreboard allowed the Dawgs’ offense the time it needed to put together a big two-out rally in the top of the third inning. After centerfielder Emily Crane and designated player Breja’e Washington led off the inning with back-to-back singles for the Dawgs, Racers starter Jailyn Ford (5-5) retired the next two batters. However, Fama came through for the Dawgs with a two-run single to give the Dawgs a 2-1 lead with two outs in the third inning. Catcher Taylore Fuller followed with a two-run home run that plated Fama, and shortstop Christian Stokes hit a solo shot to give the Dawgs a 5-1 lead.
Following the Stokes home run, Laura Winter (Notre Dame) replaced Ford (James Madison) in the circle during the top of the third inning, throwing 4.1 perfect innings in relief with five strikeouts.
“I felt pretty good,” Winter said. “I was trying to keep the energy of this team up and keep them in this game any we could and they played great defense behind me.”
The Racers attempted to mount a rally in the bottom of the sixth inning as centerfielder Taylor Schlopy laced a single up the middle and Emily Messer followed with a high-hopping infield hit to put runners on first and second base with two outs, but Abbott struck out shortstop Sami Fagan to end the threat.
The Racers will end the two game series with the Dawgs tomorrow night at Firestone Stadium with the first pitch being thrown at 7:05 p.m. Contact the Akron Racers ticket office at 330-376- 8188 or online at www.akronracers.org for ticket information.
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About the Scrap Yard Dawgs:
The Scrap Yard Dawgs will begin competition in the National Pro Fastpitch league in 2016. The Dawgs will provide elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and inspire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Houston area, the Dawgs organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and professionalism. Follow the Dawgs at www.scrapyarddawgs.com or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About the Akron Racers:
The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, OH, are the oldest existing team in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league, celebrating their 15th Season of Play in 2016. 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.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF):
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series. The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.
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