Akron, OH- For the second straight game, the Pride’s bats woke up in the sixth inning.After being no-hit through the first five innings by the Akron Racers’ Lisa Norris (4-4), the Pride (9-7) struck for five runs on five hits en route to a 5-0 win over the Racers (8-8) at Firestone Stadium.
The USSSA Florida Pride took three out of four in the Series and move into sole possession of second place behind the Chicago Bandits. Danielle Lawrie (4-2) earned her second win of the Series. Lawrie went seven innings allowing four hits, one walk and striking out 10 Racers.
Her counterpart, Norris, went six innings allowing five runs on five hits, walking one, and striking out six.
Caitlin Lowe led off the sixth with a bloop-hit double down left field line. Lauren Lappin laid down a sacrifice bunt and beat out the throw at first. Samantha Findlay came in to pinch-hit and struck out swinging, but Lappin swiped second base, advancing into scoring position and allowing Lowe to move up to third.
Natasha Watley slapped a grounder to short, but Courtney Bures was unable to make a play after scooping the ball, allowing Lowe to score, to make it 1-0 Pride. With Lappin standing on third, Watley moved into scoring position by stealing second. This would allow two runners to be in scoring position. With Alissa Haber to the plate, she doubled off the center field fence, allowing Lappin and Watley to add two more runs to the score board. After Jessica Mendoza popped out to Bures at short, Charlotte Morgan smacked a first pitch two-run home run to left out of reach of Taylor Schlopy to end the scoring frenzy at 5-0.
The Racers squandered a first inning scoring opportunity to give their ace some early run support. After Kelley Montalvo grounded out to second to lead off the inning, Sharonda McDonald singled up the middle past Jenn Salling at short. The ensuing hitter, Nicole Trimboli struck a single up the middle past second, advancing McDonald to third. Trimboli reached second after the throw went to third. Micaela Minner, who came into this game without a hit in her last 17 at-bats, struck out swinging. Lawrie hit Hoku Nohara on the arm, loading the bases. Lisa Modglin grounded out to third to end the threat.
The Racers stranded a number of runners early in the game for two straight games and field manager Jake Schumann understands this is an area of emphasis the team will have to improve.
“Our lineup needs to be ready to drive in some runs that can change the complexion of the game," stated Schumann. "We could have been going into the second inning with a 2-0 lead. We just have to play from pitch one to pitch 101 physically and mentally and that’s something we’re lacking right now.”
The Racers will travel to Rosemont on Thursday July 7th and open a four-game series with the Chicago Bandits. For more information visit www.akronracers.org.
The Pride will travel to Marion, Illinois to take on the NPF Diamonds at Rent One Park for a four game series begining on Friday July 8th. For more information visit www.usssapride.com.