MAUMEE, OH – July 5, 2013 – One day after the Fourth of July, patriotic spirit came alive for the Akron Racers shortly after the public address system died. When the speakers stopped working just in time for the playing of the national anthem, the Racers banded together and sang the national anthem for the first time in team history at the request of Co-owner and GM Joey Arrietta. But the Racers could not carry that spirit through to the game, losing a close 1-0 game to the USSSA Pride.
The microphone mishap contributed to the nostalgic setting of the game, since the Racers and the Pride played on Field 1 of the Lucas County Rec Center, one of the same fields where the Pride hosted a youth tournament earlier in the day. In the hunt to rebound after a close loss to USSSA the day before, the Racers sent veteran ace Lisa Norris to the circle against all-time National Pro Fastpitch wins leader Sarah Pauly.
The game proved to be a heated pitchers’ duel from the get-go. More than half of the game passed before either team got on the board. The Pride struck first, scoring one run in the top of the fourth inning when GiOnna DiSalvatore led off with a double. Jenn Salling pinch ran for DiSalvatore and advanced to third on Andrea Duran’s sacrifice hit. Bruder singled to score Salling, giving the Pride a 1-0 lead. The run served as the only offense the Pride would need to beat the Racers that day. The Racers mustered just three hits against Pauly, who struck out 10 and walked none en route to her fourth win of the season. The Racers tried to rally late in the game, when Charlotte Morgan singled to left field in the bottom of the seventh. But Pauly struck out the side to end the game and strand Morgan at first base.
Norris pitched five strong innings for Akron, giving up just five hits and one run before Erin Arevalo replaced her in the sixth inning. Arevalo finished the game for the Racers, holding the Pride scoreless with one strikeout in her two innings of work. Even with the loss, the Racers continued to show significant improvement on defense and did not commit an error against the Pride. Kelley Montalvo continued to provide the Racers with an invaluable defensive spark at third base, making a beautiful catch on a high pop fly in foul territory to retire Bruder in the top of the second inning. Tess Sito also showed her strong glove, making two superb plays on a popup behind the first base bag in the third inning and turning an inning-ending double play in the fifth inning.
The Racers and the Pride are scheduled to return to Firestone Stadium in Akron for the third game of this four-game series tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. EST.
SITE: Lucas County Rec Center
SCORE: Racers 0, Pride 1
RECORDS: Racers (6-11), Pride (13 - 5)
NEXT RACERS GAME: Saturday, July 6 @ 7:05 p.m. vs. USSSA Pride
About the Akron Racers:
The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, OH, are the oldest existing team in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. The Racers competed in the Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL) for two seasons in 1999 and 2000 and in the NPF since 2004. Historic Firestone Stadium is home to the Racers and numerous amateur events at all levels of play. The Racers kick off their 11th season of play in 2012.
About National Pro Fastpitch:
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.