AKRON, OH (August 9, 2016) – The Akron Racers came up on the short end of a pitchers’ duel against the USSSA Pride Tuesday night at Firestone Stadium, in a game that Mother Nature had the final say, with lightning and rain in the area bringing the game to a conclusion after five official innings, with the Pride earning the 3-0 victory.
“I believe we are a darn good ball club. We just haven’t played complete ball,” Racers Field Manager Brian Levin said. “So, you know, if we can put all three phases together I think we will be right where we need to be. We just need to do it.”
Pride starting pitcher Keilani Ricketts held the Racer bats at bay, allowing only one hit in four innings of work to earn the win.
Meanwhile, Racers starting pitcher Sarah Pauly took a bit of a “tough luck” loss, allowing only three runs on five hits in five innings in the circle.
The Pride were the first to crack the scoresheet in the top of the second inning. After designated player Lauren Chamberlain and Ricketts drew walks and first baseman Hallie Wilson smacked a base hit to load the bases, second baseman Kelsey Stewart blasted a double to the left-center field gap that plated Wilson and Chamberlain and put the Pride ahead 2-0.
In the top of the third inning, the Pride extended their lead by one more after Ricketts shot a single down the left field line that ran right fielder Kelly Kretschman home to put USSSA ahead 3-0.
Racers center fielder Taylor Schlopy attempted to spark a two-out rally in the bottom of the third inning by slicing a double down the right field line, but Akron was unable to cut the deficit when Ricketts struck out shortstop Sami Fagan to end the inning.
In the top of the fourth inning, stellar defense from the Racers outfielders kept the Pride from breaking the game open. Schlopy started the inning by making an over-the-shoulder catch as she dove over the outfield fence to rob Pride third baseman Courtney Ceo of a home run. Right fielder A.J. Andrews punctuated the inning by soaring above the fence to rob shortstop Shelby Pendley of a three-run home run for the final out.
"I'm going to go hard every single play, if it's near me I'll go all out," Andrews said. "I feel like we pride ourselves in the fact that we work so hard. Whoever is in the outfield is going to go really hard, so I'm really proud of that."
The Pride were led offensively by Wilson, who went 3-for-3 with a run scored.
The Racers will be traveling to the University of Notre Dame on Wednesday to take on the USSSA Pride at 7:00 p.m., with the game available on NPFTV, before both teams return to Akron for the final game of the 2016 regular season for both teams Friday night 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 USSSA Florida Pride:
The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
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.
Note to Media
Photos and b-roll of players is available. Interviews with the league commissioner are welcomed, and top players from each team are accessible immediately. If you’re interested in pursuing story angles about professional softball for women, please don’t hesitate to contact us.