Nemitz Key as Bandits Take Game Three, 6-5 in Extras
Racers’ Final Comeback in Eighth Falls Short
AKRON, Ohio (June 26, 2010) – The Akron Racers mounted three comebacks against the Chicago Bandits tonight, two were successful however the third and most important in the bottom of the eighth fell short as the Bandits walked off with a 6-5 victory in extras at Firestone Stadium.
The loss drops Akron to 7-4 and knocks the Racers into second place in the NPF standings, snapping a three-game win streak. The Bandits improve to 5-6 with tonight’s win.
Chicago starting pitcher Nikki Nemitz did a little bit of everything tonight and went on to deliver the winning run on her first career home run atop the eighth before re-entering the game to earn a save in the home half. Each team pitched by committee with reliever Kristina Thorson (2-1) picking up the win while Jamee Juarez (2-3) was saddled with the loss also working from the bullpen.
The Chicago Bandits’ bats came alive tonight as the visitors pounded out 11 hits but four costly errors nearly unraveled the club’s offensive efforts. Nemitz finished 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI while Stacy May and Rachel Folden each added a pair of hits.
From the early goings it appeared to be Chicago’s game to lose. The first batter atop the first—May homered to put the Bandits up by one and Angela Findlay singled then scored on Nemitz’s two-out RBI double to give Chicago a 2-0 lead.
In the third, the Bandits extended the lead to 4-0 on Samantha Findlay’s two-run homer—her first round-tripper of the year and the second of the contest for Chicago.
Akron began chipping away at the lead in the bottom of the fourth thanks in large part to a pair of Bandit miscues. An error on second baseman Nicole Pauly enabled Micaela Minner to reach base. Juarez launched a RBI triple to right center to plate the first run of the frame, forcing a Bandit pitching change as Thorson entered in relief. With two away and a 2-2 count on Samantha Ricketts, Thorson’s wild pitch proved costly as Juarez scored from third with ease to bring the Racers within two, 4-2.
Juarez took the mound in relief of starter Brittany Weil in the fifth and held the Bandits scoreless with a spot of assistance from her left fielder. Minner, who finished the day with two hits to Pace Akron, tracked Findlay’s shot to the left field gap and robbed the Bandit of what would have been her second two-run homer of the game to keep Chicago at bay.
The Racers completed the first comeback in the home half of the fifth thanks to a few defensive mishaps. A pinch hit appearance from Jackie Pasquerella resulted in a lead off double. Then, following a Kelly Montalvo sacrifice bunt, Pasquerella moved to third and then scored on the next play—an error on shortstop Christine Knauer which let Lisa Modglin reach first. Modglin stole second, swiping her fifth bag of the season and proceeded to score on the second error of the frame as Findlay failed to hang on to the putout at first, allowing Modglin to scamper home from second and tie the game at 4-all.
Chicago moved ahead atop the sixth inning when Pauly led off with a double to left—her second hit of the season, to start the frame and chase Juarez from the game as Jaime Southern entered in relief. With two-away, a pair of wild pitches plated the go ahead run as Pauly slid home to move in front, 5-4.
Akron made some magic in the bottom of the seventh, sending the game into extras when pinch hitter Clare Burnum doubled down the right field line with one away. With two outs, Modglin singled and Jessica Valis crushed a RBI single down the left field line just inside the chalk to score Burnum to tie things up for the second time. With runners at first and second, Minner singled and Modglin attempted to score from second but was gunned down at the plate to end the inning.
The two teams will meet in tomorrow’s series finale scheduled for 2:05 p.m. The Racers will honor the special bond between fathers and daughters tomorrow on Dad’s and Daughter’s Day, for more information visit www.AkronRacers.org/promos.php.
If you cannot make it to Firestone Stadium in person, be sure to catch the action online at either MLB.com with a $19.95 season-long subscription or follow live stats at Pointstreak.com.