Akron, OH- Nicole Pauly loves hitting against the Chicago Bandits. The Racers second baseman went deep with Megan Bush on first base in the first inning as the Racers (12-11) took their second win of the series, 5-4. With the victory, the Racers are just two games behind the Bandits (14-9) for second place in the NPF.
On the season, Pauly leads the team with four home runs and 11 RBIs. She is hitting .320 (8-for-25) with four of her home runs and 10 of the 11 RBIs coming against her former team, the Bandits.
Pauly can’t explain her success against her hometown team this season. She is hitting 4-for-25 against the rest of league, in comparison to 8-for-25 against the Bandits.
“Jamee’s a great pitcher and she always brings it (when she pitches). So I was just really focused on hitting the ball where it was pitched and it happened to go over the fence. I knew I was hitting well off of them, maybe it was because I played with them last year,” stated Pauly.
Bandits starter and former Racer, Jamee Juarez, couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning, going 3.2 innings, allowing four runs on six hits and walking five, including three in the fourth inning.
The Racers extended their lead to 3-0 after Kelley Montalvo hit her first home run on the season to over the center field fence, tying her RBIs total from a season ago with three.
Courtney Bures singled past short to start the fourth inning. Juarez would go on to walk Taylor Schlopy, Nicole Trimboli and Sam Marder to bring home Bures and put Akron up 4-0.
After Chicago catcher Jenna Grim cut the lead to 4-1 with a solo home run in the top of the fifth inning, Akron would answer in the bottom of the sixth, thanks to the speed of pinch runner Sharonda McDonald. Following a Montalvo walk, McDonald came on and promptly stole second and third base. Bandit reliever Taryne Mowatt would go on to throw a wild pitch on a ball four to Megan Bush that allowed McDonald to score.
Kristina Thorson gave her field manager a second solid outing in the past three days. With the victory, Thorson improves to 5-2 after throwing five innings with six hits, a run, a walk and three strikeouts.
“We got a lot of good momentum on our side, our hitting is good, we’re playing defense- everyone’s excited about it. Monty played some great plays over at third, so they helped me out tonight,” Racer manager Jake Schumann said.
Schumann was also pleased with the way the team responded after being blanked by Monica Abbott again the previous night.
“Thorson threw excellent for five innings, we hit the ball when we needed to, we had good game plans. Lisa [Norris] came out on short days rest but we scored some runs and she did what she had to when she needed to, striking out Williams to end the game.”
Racers right-hander Lisa Norris pitched the final two innings to earn her first save of the season, despite giving up a three-run home run to the designated player, Alisa Goler, her second in as many games.
The Racers and Bandits will meet for the final game of the series tomorrow at 2:05 at Firestone Stadium.
Kim Lakner, Media Relations