AKRON, Ohio Trena Peels walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh inning lifted the first place Akron Racers to a 2-1 victory over the second place New York/New Jersey Juggernaut on Thursday evening at Firestone Stadium. With the win, the Racers improve to 21-8 on the season and increase their first place lead in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) standings by one and a half games over the Juggernaut.
The Racers allowed one run in the top of the third inning when the Juggernaut loaded the bases on a walk, a single and a fielders choice with one out. Left fielder Lauren Bauer hit a fly ball to left, bringing in second baseman Carrie Leto to put NY/NJ up 1-0.
Akron responded in their half of the fourth when left fielder Antionette Armstrong led off the inning with a sharp single into center field and moved to second on an error. Armstrong took third on another Juggernaut miscue, advancing on a wild pitch. With two away in the inning, NPF All-Star first baseman Nicole Trimboli drove in her 13th run of the season with a grounder to short, knotting the game at one.
The Racers took the lead and the game in the bottom of the seventh inning as NPF All-Star catcher Dana Degen reached first on the third Juggernaut error of the game. Trimboli followed with a line shot down the left field line to move Degen into scoring position. All-Star right fielder Trena Peel capitalized on the opportunity, scorching a double into the gap in right-center, allowing Degen to touch home and give the Racers the 2-1 victory.
Pitcher Radara McHugh threw the complete game for the Racers as she improved her record to a spotless 8-0. McHugh struck out five and allowed only one run while scattering five hits.
The Racers and Juggernaut square off in game two of the series tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. at Firestone Stadium when the Racers welcome mascots from Northeast Ohio. The series concludes Saturday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. with the Akron Racers Foundations Opportunity Walk for Women and Girls in Sports preceding the game. The walk steps off at 9:30 a.m. at Firestone Stadium and concludes with a dogs n suds picnic. The picnic, game admission and t-shirt are free to all walk participants. Call 330-376-8188 or log on to www.akronracers.org for more information.