Jennifer Gilbert Homerun Celebration Photo By Jade Hewitt Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
ERIE, CO. – June 30, 2015 – The Akron Racers continued firing on all cylinders Tuesday night, picking up their sixth win in their last seven games, thanks to a three-run sixth inning rally that clinched the 5-2 victory over the Dallas Charge.
With the score tied 2-2 entering the top of the sixth inning, catcher Haley Outon led off the frame by blasting a homerun to the left field bleachers off Dallas relief pitcher Lauren Haeger to put the Racers ahead for good. Third baseman Kelley Montalvo followed with a single to right field to cap off her 3-for-3 evening, and two batters later second baseman Ashley Thomas gave Akron starting pitcher Lisa Norris all the security she would need with a two-run homer to left-center field.
Norris (3-3) was masterful after a weather delay caused by lightning and wind in the area in the bottom of the third inning gave the Racers a chance to regroup after the Charge had taken a 2-1 lead on a two-run home run by Dallas center fielder Eri Yamada.
Following the delay, Norris allowed only one hit, a two-out single by Renada Davis in the bottom of the seventh inning, and had a stretch of retiring 12 of 13 hitters from the final out of the third inning to the second out of the seventh inning.
Norris pitched a complete game victory, allowing two runs on seven hits with two walks and one strikeout.
Haeger took the loss, allowing three runs on five hits in three innings of work, with no walks and three strikeouts.
Racers’ left fielder Jennifer Gilbert extended an impressive two-game streak going in Colorado in the top of the second inning. Gilbert led off the frame with a solo home run to center field, it was her third straight home run in three at-bats going back to Monday's 3-2 victory over the Charge. The dinger gave Akron a 1-0 lead.
After Yamada's home run gave Dallas the 2-1 lead, the Racers would comeback to tie the game in the top of the fifth inning. Shortstop Jill Barrett led off the inning with a base hit to right field. Aggressive base running would pay off for Barrett as she went from first to third base on a single to left by center fielder Taylor Schlopy. From third base Barrett was able to score the tying run despite Charge starting pitcher Vanessa Stokes getting Akron designated player Jessica Garcia to hit into a double play.
The Charge and Racers will play the third game of their four game series in Colorado on Wednesday at Christopher Fields in Westminster, Colorado. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Mountain Time and 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
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