AKRON, Ohio The Akron Racers split the six-game series with a doubleheader split against the Texas Thunder on Tuesday evening at Firestone Stadium. The Racers took game one 3-0 before falling to the Thunder 3-0 in nine innings in the nightcap. Akron is currently one game behind Texas for first place in National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) standings.
After playing four consecutive extra-inning games in the last two days, the Racers jumped on the NPFs ERA leader, Texas pitcher Christa Williams with one run in the fourth inning. The leagues leader in batting average, Racers center fielder Iyhia McMichael led off the frame with an infield single and moved to third on a base hit off the bat of catcher Jenn Poore. McMichael touched home to give Akron the early lead on an RBI bunt single by first baseman Nicole Trimboli.
The Racers added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth with a long home run courtesy of NPF Player of the Week, right fielder Trena Peel. Designated player Dana Degen reached in front of Peel with a one-out single to left field and was lifted for pinch-runner Antionette Armstrong. Peel followed, taking Williams offering deep over the right field fence to put Akron up 3-0. The homer was Peels third of the season, and keeps her in first place in the NPF with 23 RBIs.
Pitcher Brandee McArthur threw her third consecutive shutout for the Racers, working the full seven innings and surrendering only three hits. McArthur improves her record to 9-7 and maintains a team-low 1.24 ERA.
Game two featured a classic pitchers duel between Akrons Radara McHugh and Texas Lindsay Chouinard, as each hurler held her opponent scoreless through eight innings. The Thunder broke through in the ninth when right fielder Julie Brooks knocked a three-run home run to right field, giving Texas the game.
McHugh threw the full nine innings for the Racers, giving up the three runs on only five hits, two of which came in the ninth inning.
Akron is next on the road with a three-game series against the New York/New Jersey Juggernaut, who are tied with the Racers for second place in the NPF. Akron continues its East-coast road trip against the New England Riptide where the teams will play two regularly scheduled games and finish the suspended game from June 11.
The Racers return to Firestone Stadium on August 12-14 for a four-game set against the Arizona Heat. Akron and Arizona will play single games at 7:05 p.m. on August 12 and 13, and will finish up with a doubleheader on August 14 with games at 1:05 and 4:05 p.m. August 14 is also Akron Racers Fan Appreciation Day. For more information, call 330-376-8188 or log on to www.akronracers.org.