AKRON, Ohio For the second straight night, the Akron Racers downed the New England Riptide with a thrilling late-inning rally, grabbing an 8-0 win on Wednesday night at Firestone Stadium. Catcher Jenn Poore blasted a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to cap off the offensive surge and assure the Racers at least a share of first place in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) standings.
Both teams were quiet until the bottom of the fifth inning when third baseman Becky McMurtry sparked the Racers with a single down the left field line and moved to second on a base hit by second baseman Brandi Stuart. Akron loaded the bases when center fielder Iyhia McMichael drew an intentional pass to bring up designated player Nikki Myers with one out. Myers legged out an infield single to score McMurtry and put the Racers ahead 1-0.
The Racers added four more runs in the inning on a walk and three more singles. First baseman Nicole Trimboli drove in a pair with a perfectly-positioned infield hit to bring in Myers and McMichael and give the Racers the 5-0 lead at the end of the frame.
The Racers continued to hit off of Riptide pitcher Megan Matthews in the bottom of the sixth when McMichael and Myers both reached on singles. Poore, who already posted two hits on the night, took Matthews' offering deep over the fence in left-center field to set the game at 8-0. Poore was named the Custom Sports Imprints Player of the Game as she went three-for-three with three RBIs and two runs scored.
In the pitchers circle, Brandee McArthur worked a complete game to earn her seventh win of the year. McArthur surrendered just three hits and struck out six in the shutout victory. Her three consecutive strikeouts with runners in scoring position in the top of the first inning were named the Summa Health Care System Plays of the Game.
The Racers go for the series sweep of the Riptide tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. at Firestone Stadium. The Racers also remain home for a six-game series against the Texas Thunder with doubleheaders starting at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and single games starting at 7:05 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday evenings. For more information, call 330-376-8188 or log on to www.akronracers.org.