Akron, Ohio - The Akron Racers scored three first inning runs, and then held on to defeat the Philadelphia Force by a score of 3-2. The game was the first of a four-game set to be played at Firestone Stadium in Akron.
Racers pitcher Angela Tincher pitched a complete-game one-hitter to lead the Racers (9-8). The NPF rookie struck out 10 batters, but also walked seven and hit one batter.
The Force fell behind early in the contest. The Racers would get to starter Katie Burkhart in the first inning. Norelle Dickson, India Chiles, and Kristen Butler all had hits off Burkhart to start the game, with Butler’s being a two-run double. A groundout would move Butler to third base, and she scored on a Kate Robinson squeeze-sacrifice bunt.
In the top of third, the Force (13-4) battled back without the benefit of a hit. Walks to Clare Burnum and Kellie Wilkerson put runners on first and second with two outs. Chelsea Spencer grounded to third base but the throw got away and it allowed Burnum to score the first of two unearned runs. Wilkerson, who went to third base on the error, continued her excellent base running by stealing home to cut the Racers to lead to one.
That would be it for the scoring, but drama remained as Tincher (5-2) was looking for a no-hitter. But Wilkerson would have none of that, as she broke up the special achievement with a two-out single in the top of the seventh inning.
Burkhart (4-1) settled down after the first inning to holding the Racers to just five hits and she struck out eight batters in her six innings of work.
The same two teams tangle on Thursday night at 7:05. The game can be followed on GameTracker. The Force return home next week for a series with the Rockford Thunder beginning on Wednesday.