Akron, OH- June 21, 2015- In a very special Father’s Day matchup, the USSSA Pride downed the Akron Racers by a final score of 6-2.
The Pride took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Shelby Pendley (Oklahoma) drove in two runs with a single that snuck through the right side of the infield. Lisa Norris (North Carolina) minimized the damage by getting Madison Shipman (Tennessee) to pop out the third base, ending the inning.
The Racers answered in the bottom of the first inning when Taylor Schlopy (Georgia) launched her fourth homerun of the year over the center field fence. Schlopy drove in Jill Barrett (Tulsa) who reached base on an error by Pride pitcher Keilani Ricketts (Oklahoma). Schlopy has homered in four consecutive games.
Schlopy said, “It’s really exciting to watch the ball go over the fence, I just go up to bat trying to get a base hit every time. It’s important that I try and play for the team, not just individual stats.”
The Pride retook the lead in the top of the third inning when Megan Wiggins (Georgia) hit a home run that was just out of Jenny Gilbert’s (Ball State) reach. The Racers threatened in the bottom of the third when Schlopy and Nerissa Myers (Louisiana Lafayette) singled, but no runs came across.
Both Kelley Montalvo (Alabama) and Ayumi Karino (Japan) singled in the bottom of the fourth, but Ricketts escaped the inning, not allowing either runner to advance.
Both teams were held hitless in the fifth and sixth innings, but the Pride threatened in the top of the seventh. Megan Jo Willis (Texas) drew a leadoff walk and Kelly Kretschman (Alabama) singled to give the Pride runners on first and second. Both runners advanced on a passed ball, and then Megan Wiggins hit her second homerun of the game to increase the Pride lead to four.
The Racers came up in the bottom of the seventh needing a rally, but were stymied. Jordan Taylor (Michigan), who relieved Ricketts in the sixth inning, struck out four of the six batters she faced and got the save. Ricketts picked up the win for the Pride, improving her record to 1-0. Lisa Norris took the loss for the Racers and her record falls to 0-2.
The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, OH, is 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 14th season of play in 2015.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fast pitch 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 fast pitch softball since 2002. www.profastpitch.com