Akron, Ohio – July 31, 2013 – The Racers may have been down, but they were certainly not out of Wednesday’s series final with the NY/NJ Comets.
The Racers combined for all five of their runs in the fifth and sixth innings, but were unable to muster a large enough comeback to defeat a seven-run deficit.
Racers’ starter Ivy Renfroe started off strong, limiting the Comets to just one hit through the first three innings. NY/NJ was able to break through, though, posting five runs in the top of the fourth.
Angeline Quiocho’s leadoff single got the rally started for the Comets, and then she quickly advanced to third on a single from Bianca Mejia. A wild pitch by Renfroe sent Quiocho racing home, giving the Comets a 1-0 advantage. Courtney Liddle advanced the Comets’ lead further with an RBI double to left-center field.
The Racers called to the bullpen after the Liddle double, but Samie Garcia and the Comets quickly jumped on reliever Rachele Fico. Garcia sent the second pitch see saw from Fico over the right field fence, putting the Comets up 5-0.
As Angel Bunner continued to hold the Racers hitless, the Comets added another run for their starting pitcher in the top of the fifth. Mejia came through again for NY/NJ, getting the rally started with a double off the right field fence. A walk and a hit by pitch loaded the bases for the Comets, then a fielding error by Fico allowed another run to score.
The Racers were able to match that one run in the bottom half of the frame, though, and break up Bunner’s no hitter. Jessica Garcia and Ayumi Karino drew back-to-back walks to lead off the inning, and then a wild pitch put both runners in scoring position. Rookie Brianna Turang broke through for the Racers’ first hit of the game with an RBI single down the left field line, which scored Jessica Garcia.
Akron went to their bullpen once again in the sixth inning, brining in Hillary Bach to close out the game for the Racers. The Comets posted their seventh and final run off Bach in the sixth behind the bat of Quiocho. Samie Garcia started the inning with her second extra-base hit of the night, a double to left field. Quiocho brought her home two batters later with her fifth RBI of the season.
Refusing to go down easy, the Racers rattled Bunner for a four-run sixth inning. Kaylyn Castillo got the rally started for Akron with a single up the middle, then Brigette Del Ponte and Jessica Garcia followed Castillo’s lead and recorded back-to-back singles to bring Castillo home. After Karino grounded out to first base, rookie Tess Sito helped the Racers inch closer with an RBI single, which scored Del Ponte. Brianna Turang wouldn’t let the Racers’ rally die there and brought home a pair of runners with a two-RBI single down the left field line.
Akron continued to fight back in the seventh, but a double play by Samie Garcia would end the Racers’ chance at a comeback.
The Racers have Thursday off but will be back at Firestone Stadium on Friday to begin a four-game series with the USSSA Pride. The first pitch for Friday’s game is scheduled 7:05 p.m.
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 12th season of play in 2013.
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.