Racers Fall to the Pride 7 – 5

Courtesy of Akron Racers

AKRON, OH – July 6, 2013
 –  The Racers fell 7-5 to the USSSA Pride in game three of a four game series. After traveling to Maumee, Ohio for the July 5 match-up where they fell (1-0) against the Pride, the Racers returned to their home turf hungry for a win. Brittany Mack pitched 2.0 innings and kept the Pride restrained, only giving up one hit in the first inning.
Both teams went scoreless until the second inning. The Racers defensive work inhibited the Pride from scoring. Tess Sito shifted the score in favor of the Racers. Sito singled sending Aja Paculba home for the first run of the night.
Ivy Renfroe replaced Mack in the circle with runners on second and third with no outs in the third inning after the Pride scored three runs. After walking Andrea Duran and allowing a sac fly to Kelsey Bruder Renfroe completed the inning, getting two consecutive outs. In the second and third innings, turbo-charged shortstop Brigette Del Ponte caught two outs in foul territory after bolting all the way to the Pride dugout from the shortstop position.
The Pride took the lead in the third inning, scoring three runs. GiOnna DiSalvatore singled, scoring Watley and Lowe. The Racers answered the challenge. A downpour couldn’t stop Charlotte Morgan as she re-lit the Racers fire and hit her third home run this season just before a rain delay. Morgan brought  home Ayumi Karino and tied the game 3-3.
After a 90-minute rain delay, Natasha Watley displayed her Olympic talent in the fourth inning, singling and scoring on DiSalvatore’s single as the Pride took the lead 4-3. Del Ponte again displayed her defensive talents and made two more excellent defensive plays to end the inning. Pride pitcher Blaire Luna replaced Pride starter Jordan Taylor in the fourth inning. Luna and Renfroe pitched quick, scoreless innings.
Taylor Schlopy dove over the fence twice, but couldn’t stop DiSalvatore and Ashley Charters’ home runs in the sixth inning. Kelly Kretschman touched home on DiSalvatore’s home run, giving the Pride a four-run lead. Chelsea Thomas replaced Luna in the sixth inning. An error from Thomas gave Sam Marder the opportunity to reach second base. Shortstop Jenn Salling’s error on Kelly Montalvo’s grounder allowed Marder to touch home plate for the team’s fourth run. The Racers left Montalvo stranded at second base
In the seventh inning, Jen Mineau entered the circle relieving Renfroe. Mineau delivered the heat needed to hold the Pride from scoring. She completed the inning with a 1-2-3 knockout. Schlopy singled and took second base on a walk to Morgan. Schlopy scored on the hard-hit grounder by Marder that got passed Haruna Sakamoto. However, it wasn’t enough as the Racers fell to the Pride 7-5. DiSalvatore finished the game with three hits and five RBIs.
– Del Ponte had an outstanding defensive game making three saves at shortstop
– Morgan hit her third home run of the season
– A 90-minute rain delay was issued in the third inning
SITE: Firestone Stadium
SCORE: Pride  7,  Racers 5
RECORDS: Pride (14-5). Racers (6-12).
NEXT RACERS GAME: Wednesday, July 10 @ 7:05 p.m. vs. NY/NJ Comets
About the 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 kickoff their 12th season of play in 2013.
About National Pro Fastpitch:
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered 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 names 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.
Written by: Melaina Lewis
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