A complete game pitching performance by Lisa Norris, combined with three consecutive innings of at least one run scored, helped the Akron Racers defeat the Chicago Bandits 5-1.
After a heated and wild game Friday night, the Bandits and Racers returned to face each other in the third matchup of a four-game series.
The game started off in favor for the Bandits in the first inning.
Bandits shortstop Tammy Williams drew a lead off walk, and was moved over to second after a bunt by second baseman Danielle Zymkowitz.
Bandits left fielder Megan Wiggins came up to bat, and on the first pitch she sliced the gap in right center to bring home her teammate and give the team a 1-0 lead.
Yet after that one-run first inning, the Bandits’ offense was nearly silenced by Norris.
The former North Carolina Tar Heel finished the game with nine strikeouts, allowing only two hits and the same amount of walks.
Chicago starting pitcher Jamee Juarez and the defense behind her had some tough breaks Saturday night.
Racer outfielder Taylor Schlopy hit a ball from Juarez sharply to right field. Later in the inning, with two outs, Racer catch Roya St. Clair would bring home Schlopy, as the ball nicked the glove of Bandit third baseman Amber Patton to tie the game at 1-1.
In the bottom of the third inning, Racer Samantha Marder belted a Juarez pitch to left center to give her team a 2-1 lead.
The Racers exploded for three runs in the top of the fourth inning, as St. Clair would strike out again on an RBI single to score third baseman Kelley Montalvo to pad the lead at 3-1.
Nicole Trimboli would hit an RBI triple to score Reba Tutt, giving the Racers a 4-1 lead.
The Bandits couldn’t catch a break later in the game, as Megan Bush hit a ball passed Williams’ glove at short, which would score the Racers’ final run, and putting the score at 5-1
A positive came defensively from Bandits center fielder Caitlin Lever.
With Sharonda McDonald on second base, Racers’ Sam Marder hit a fly ball to Lever.
Lever caught it, set and threw a cannon to Patton at third to gun down McDonald. The play drew an array of applauses from the fans in attendance.