Akron Wins in Extras in Game One, Diamonds Swing To Victory in Game Two
AKRON, Ohio (August 1, 2010) – The Akron Racers and Tennessee Diamonds put on a show in today’s doubleheader with the Racers earning a 3-2 extra-inning victory in game one while the Diamonds clubbed their way to a convincing 10-3 win in the series finale at Firestone Stadium.
With the 4-1 series win, Akron (21-15) remains in second place atop the National Pro Fastpitch standings and sits two and a half games behind the first place Chicago Bandits while the Diamonds post a 9-27 record after today’s split.
The NPF’s top two pitchers battled in a true pitchers’ duel in game one this afternoon with Lisa Norris (12-3) prevailing once more. Norris went the distance, pitching nine innings without giving up an earned run while striking out 11 to register the win. Monica Abbott (5-6) worked 8.1 frames and gave up three runs (two earned) on nine hits while striking out six to take today’s loss.
In the ninth inning, Courtney Bures drove her second single of the game to left to get Akron on base before moving to second on Jackie Pasquerella’s sacrifice bunt. The game’s only passed ball came next as Doepking failed to hang on to an Abbott riser which skirted to the backstop, letting Bures move to third. Lisa Modglin then deposited Abbott’s 1-2 offering to the gap in right center to score today’s winning run.
The Diamonds went ahead in the third behind a pair of hits an error to take a 1-0 lead. Jenna Rhodes would lead off with a single and then score when Chelsea Spencer singled to left and advanced on a misplayed ball in left.
In the bottom of the third, Akron battled back to take a 2-1 lead as Courtney Bures singled and Jackie Pasquerella reached on a sacrifice fielder’s choice. Following an out, Sharonda McDonald reached on an infield single prior to Sam Ricketts’ sac-fly RBI single. Crystl Bustos then reached on a Loryn Johnson error which scored Pasquerella to put Akron in front.
Atop the fourth, Tennessee responded and scored in similar fashion when Chelsie Mesa drove a one-out single through the left side and Shannon Doepking reached second on two-bag error. Johnson’s RBI single to left followed, plating Mesa. Norris worked out of the two-on one out jam, hurling a pair of strikeouts to retire the side.
Abbott and Norris would then battle back and forth through four and a half scoreless innings before Modglin’s game-winning base knock.
With a tied game heading into the top of the fifth, Tennessee clubbed four two-run homers to establish a serious 9-1 lead before taking game two, 10-3.
Kristin Erb (1-7) recorded the win in four innings, limiting Akron to a run on four hits, striking out four batters. Jamee Juarez (6-8) suffered the loss in five innings after giving up six runs (five earned) on six hits.
As they have all series long, The Diamonds struck first, doing so in the second inning when Justice reached on an error and then scored on another in tandem with Mesa’s single to right, to move ahead 1-0.
Bures tied the game with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the third on a solo shot to dead center to tie it up at 1-all.
The fourth inning was uneventful as either team failed to score but that trend would end for the Diamonds as they posted four-run frames in both the fifth and sixth.
Two-run homers from Amanda Williams and Gibson highlighted the fifth while Spencer and Johnson each blasted two-run shots in the sixth to give Tennessee a convincing, 9-1 lead.
Akron got a run back in the home half on Vandergeest’s RBI single which drove in Norris who reached based on a fielder’s choice.
After the Diamonds loaded the bases atop the seventh, Shanna Diller’s fielder’s choice RBI extended the Diamond lead, 10-2.
In the home half, the Racers tallied one more run as Modglin scored on Ricketts single to center, accounting for tonight’s final.
The Racers host the Chicago Bandits in the final homestand of the season next week, August 6-8 at Firestone Stadium. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 330-376-8188 or visit www.akronracers.org.