AKRON, OH – August 9, 2013 – On Friday, June 28, the Racers and Chicago Bandits began playing a ballgame at 7:05 p.m. EST. 42 days after its initial 7:05 p.m. start time, the Akron Racers and the Chicago Bandits finally finished the game, Chicago emerging with the 10-9 win over Akron.
Back and forth scoring characterized the first three innings of the game, which the two teams completed back in June. The Racers got on the board first, scoring one run in the bottom of the first inning on Charlotte Morgan’s RBI double. But the Bandits matched that run plus one, taking a 2-1 lead in the top of the second. Akron battled back, retaking the lead in the bottom of that inning on a three-run home run by Tess Sito. Chicago’s bats did not let up and they tied the game in the top of the third inning, chasing out Racers starter Erin Arevalo and bringing in rookie Rachele Fico.
Fico allowed the tying runs to score before getting out of the inning thanks in part to a spectacular catch of a line drive by shortstop Aja Paculba. The Racers took the lead back, however, in the bottom of the third inning, and the Bandits brought in rookie Mel Dumezich to replace starter Nikki Nemitz. Akron scored once off of Dumezich before the inning ended and the game had to be halted by rain.
The Bandits began the game anew this August afternoon with two runners on and two outs in the top of the fourth inning, and a 2-2 count on Bandits catcher Kristen Butler. Butler singled on the first pitch of the day from Fico, easily scoring Eri Yamada from second base and bringing the Bandits within one run of the Racers. Tammy Williams, the next batter, hit a three-run home run to give Chicago an 8-6 lead. The Racers retaliated in the bottom of the frame, scoring one run on Jessica Garcia’s fielder’s choice. Hillary Bach replaced Fico in the circle for the Racers in the top of the fifth inning, and the Bandits scored twice off of her to extend their lead. But Akron put another run on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning when Taylor Schlopy hit her second home run of the game that brought the Racers within two.
Akron tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring one run on Paculba’s RBI groundout. But the Racers’ rally fell short when the Bandits re-entered Nemitz to face Brianna Turang, who grounded out to end the game. Dumezich picked up the win for the Bandits, while Nemitz both started and finished the game and earned the save. Fico took the loss, pitching a total of two innings and giving up four runs on five hits.
The Racers and the Bandits will play their regularly scheduled game this evening at 7:05 p.m., followed by a doubleheader tomorrow with first pitches at 4:05 p.m. and 7:05 p.m.
-The game originally began on June 28, and had to be halted and rescheduled twice.
-Taylor Schlopy hit two home runs, one in June and one in August.
-Tammy Williams went 2-3 with 2 runs scored and 4 RBI for the Bandits.
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.