Rachele Fico Photo By Jade Hewitt Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
Westminster, Colorado, Wednesday, July 1, 2015 – The Akron Racers thoroughly dominated the Dallas Charge, Wednesday night banging out 11 hits, including three homeruns. Rachel Fico got the win, going the distance allowing just four hits and one earned run. Fico struck out four and walked one keeping the Charge bats silent for most of the game. The 9-1 win was the Racers seventh in their last eight games, improving to 11-9 while the Charge losing streak reached five games, dropping them to 6-13.
The Racers’ hitters made Charge starter Morgan Melloh work extremely hard for each out early. Though the Racers did not score in the first inning, they forced Melloh to throw 30 pitches in the frame. The high pitch count would eventually take its toll.
In inning number two Haley Outon struck out after an 8-pitch at bat. Kelley Montalvo grounded out on six pitches. Brianna Hamilton lined the first pitch she saw well over the left field fence cheers from the sizeable crowd. The blast opened the scoring and gave the Racers an early 1-0 lead.
In the third, the Racers would extend their lead. Ayumi Karino reached on a chopper to second base that was bobbled. Jill Barrett turned around Melloh’s 1-0 pitch and sent it deep over the right center field fence, making it 3-0 Racers.
The Racers opened the game up in the fifth, scoring four times. Karino started things off with a single up the middle. Barrett singled to right moving Karino to third. That hit prompted a Dallas Charge pitching change and Jolene Henderson came on in relief. Nerissa Myers took Henderson’s third pitch for a ride on a line into the crowd in centerfield, pushing the advantage to six. The pain did not end there. After a ground out, Jennifer Gilbert, who has been on a tear, doubled to left center on her first pitch. An excuse me roller in front of home was gobbled up by Henderson for the second out. Gilbert scooted over to third. Montalvo then rolled one to shortstop Renada Davis’ right. Davis did great work to stop it, but her throw skipped underneath first baseman Nicole Morgan’s glove plating Gilbert with Akron’s seventh run.
The Charge went quickly in the bottom half of five, bringing the hot Akron bats back to the plate. Ashley Thomas started things by lacing a double down the left field line. Karino singled and advanced to second on a Charge error. Thomas scored to make it 8-0 Racers. Barrett brought Karino home with a single to center, closing out the Akron score at nine.
Dallas finally got on the scoreboard in the sixth when newly arrived Kylee Lahners drove a two-out hit over the centerfield fence ending Fico’s shutout.
Ashley Burkhart managed a leadoff single in the seventh for the Charge, but a fly out, strike out and line out would quickly end the game.
The Charge will take Akron again on Thursday night, this time in Aurora, CO at 7:05pm MT. You can find live stats at www.dallascharge.com if you are unable to make it to the game or watch it on CBS Sports Network.
The Dallas Charge will begin competition in the National Pro Fastpitch league in 2015. The Charge will provide elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and inspire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, the Charge organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and professionalism. Follow the Dallas Charge at www.dallascharge.com
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.