Akron, Ohio - The Akron Racers dashed out to a 4-0 lead early and then stopped a Michigan rally short to win their 25th game of the year 6-4.
Akron (25-17) broke open a scoreless game in the bottom of the third when shortstop Kristin Johnson (2-3, run) hit a sharp single to rightfield. Johnson made it all the way to third when the ball bounced past rightfielder Lani Shaffer on the play. After Norrelle Dickson walked, Veronica Wootson laced a single back up the middle to score Johnson.
A ground out by Kristen Butler advanced Wootson and Dickson to second and third base respectively. Michigan catcher Miranda Ervin attempted to throw back to get Dickson at third, but the ball sailed into leftfield and allowed both runs to score.
Back to back two out singles by Tracee McCoy and Jenn Poore put runners on the corners. Poore attempted a delayed steal and got caught in a run down long enough for McCoy to steal home for the fourth and final run of the inning to make the score 4-0.
The Ice and Racers would both score a run in the fourth inning to make it 5-1. Michigan scored when Auriel Jenkins led off with a single and advanced to second on an error by Racer left fielder, Sara Zilles. Jenkins was driven home on a single by Amanda Jenson a couple batters later. For Akron, it was a solo home run by Poore that produced their run in the fourth.
Michigan attempted a comeback in the top of the fifth inning when back to back singles by Elana Meyers and Meaggan Pettipiece started the inning for the Ice. Meyers scored from third on a fielder's choice hit by Shaffer that retired Pettipiece.
A double by Becky Manson put runners on secoond and third. Amanda Jenson followed Manson up with a two bagger of her own to right of her own to score both Shaffer and Manson.
Akron starter Jamee Juarez stopped the damage there when she forced Charity Butler to ground out to third base for the final out of the inning leaving the score at 5-4.
That would be the last of Juarez (13-6) as she finished up with five innings pitched allowing four runs on nine hits and a pair of strikeouts.
Radara McHugh came on in relief for the Racers in the sixth inning for the second straight night. McHugh struck out the side in the sixth inning and retired the Ice in order in the seventh for two perfect innings of relief. McHugh picked up her second save of the season and stretched her two day streak to twelve straight batters retired.
The Racers picked up an insurance run in the home half of the fifth inning when Caitlin Benyi scored on a passed ball that got away from Ervin.
For the Ice, Megan Brown picked up the loss going 4.1 innings giving up 6 runs on nine hits and three walks.
The Racers square off with the the Ice for game three of the four game series Saturday night at 7:05. For ticket information contact the Akron Racers ticket office at 330-376-8188.