AKRON, OH-The Akron Racers had their scoring chances Thursday night but were unable to capitalize, resulting in an opening series, 2-0 loss to close out the month of June.
Pitcher Lisa Norris (4-3) took the loss as the Racers fall into a second-place tie with the Pride. The Racers (7-6) fell behind early 1-0, courtesy of a Charlotte Morgan single up the middle that plated Natasha Watley who led off the game with an infield hit to third base. That lone run turned out to be all that the Pride’s (7-6) Danielle Lawrie (3-2) would need. Alissa Haber’s solo home run over the center field wall in the seventh inning added a second insurance run. However, Lawrie proved she wouldn’t need that run, freezing the Racers’ bats, allowing one hit as she faced just four batters over the minimum.
Despite the lone hit, Racers first-year field manager Jake Schumann was encouraged by the players approach at the plate.
“I thought we swung the bats pretty well,” Schumann said. “I thought we had good at-bats, attacked the ball, we hit some line drives, they just made some good plays, we just couldn’t push any runs across.”
The Pride’s Danielle Lawrie put her team back into a second-place tie with the Racers, throwing seven innings, allowing a hit, two walks, a hit batter and fanning four. Lawrie didn’t feel like she was as good as her line suggested.
“It was funny I just didn’t feel like I had [my good stuff],” Lawrie said. “I couldn’t get my body going, I felt like those first couple of innings I was really looking for groundouts and pop outs. I was just making sure I was hitting my spots really well.”
The Racers had two golden opportunities to jump back into the game, but Lawrie had different ideas. In the first inning, after Lisa Modglin led the game off with a walk and stole second, Kelley Montalvo sacrificed her to third. The next two hitters, Taylor Schlopy and Nicole Trimboli went down swinging, stranding their teammate at third.
In the bottom of the third, Courtney Bures connected on a one-out double to right center to put her in scoring position for the top of the order. However, a Modglin pop out to left and a Schlopy strikeout ended their last legitimate scoring threat.
The Racers and Pride will meet again Friday night at 7:05 at Firestone Stadium for Game 2 of the Series.