Taylor Schlopy Photo Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
Akron, OH – August 5, 2014 - The Pennsylvania Rebellion’s Sarah Pauly pitched like an ace for most of Monday night’s contest, but the Akron Racers potent lineup exploded late to net a 7-3 victory on national television.
Pauly allowed a single run, a Nerissa Myers first-inning home run, on four hits through four innings. But the Racers’ offense struck for a six-run 5th with seven straight hits playing on CBS Sports Network.
“I think we continued to pick good pitches” Racers Field Manager Brain Levin said. “Pauly was doing a good job of going in and out on us, and we were having a rough time with it. I think that we continued to follow the game plan of picking a half of the plate, and if you get one on that half drive it.”
The Racers rally began with one out in the 6th inning down 3-1. Ayumi Karino singled but was erased at third for the second out of the inning after a Jill Barrett single. Nerissa Myers singled home Barrett, which began a string of five two-out hits.
Charlotte Morgan doubled and Jessica Garcia followed with a two-run triple that gave the Racers a 4-3 lead and sent Pauly to the bench. Kelley Montalvo drove in Garcia with a single off Rebellion reliever Angel Bunner, then Taylor Schlopy put the finishing touches on the comeback with a two-run home run to center.
Schlopy was hitting just .170 on July 21, but has heated up with three home runs and three multi-hit games in her past seven.
“Taylor’s been hitting into some tough luck,” Levin said. “She’s been hitting a lot of balls at people, but now they’re starting to find holes. She made a little adjustment, getting through the ball more and staying on plane a little more through the swing. That little bit of tweak here and there, sometimes it’s not much, but it’s enough to give you a little confidence when you’re driving the ball and that’s what happened.”
Racers starter Lisa Norris ran into trouble in the second inning after a Lauren Lappin single. Taylor Edwards hit an RBI double and Briana Hamilton capped off the inning with a two-run home run.
“I think I left a little bit over the plate,” Norris said. “But for the Rebellion to hit it and put a solid bat on it, that’s great hitting. I think I focused more on hitting the spots and attacking; not being timid. Mixing speeds and locations a lot more.”
Norris recovered from the early struggles to throw a complete game, permitting six hits and three walks with four strikeouts. Levin thinks she began to get into a rhythm as she went through the Rebellion order multiple times.
“When you’ve got a veteran like Lisa, is rolling over the lineup two or three times a benefit to her?” Levin said. “In this case I think it was a benefit to her. A rookie or another pitcher might be a different story, when they see her two or three times and begin to figure her out. But Lisa, she can adjust things a little bit and she understands how to pitch.”
The Racers comeback was swift and remarkable. Pauly entered the game with a 2.66 ERA but allowed five earned runs, the most she’s allowed in a game since early June.
“She was doing a really good job of using both sides of the plate and I could see our hitters getting frustrated,” Levin said. “They were frustrated but they didn’t get rattled. They still had composure and continued to have good at-bats. Finally, it worked out for us.”
The Racers finish their series with the Rebellion Tuesday night at 7:05 PM ET live on CBS Sports Network. For tickets or info call the Racers at 330-376-8188.
Box Score:Click Here
Site: Firestone Stadium – Akron, OH
About PA Rebellion
The Rebellion is a professional women's softball team competing as part of National Pro Fastpitch (NPF). Joining the gritty, fast-paced league in 2014, the Rebellion will play head-to-head against the most talented players in the sport. Games are broadcast nationally and draw local fans of all ages to experience the action live. NPF is an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball.
About 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 13th season of play in 2014.
About National Pro Fastpitch
National Pro Fastpitch is headquarted 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 name 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.