Jill Barrett of the Akron Racers Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
AKRON, Ohio – August 10, 2015 - The Pennsylvania Rebellion broke out offensively with a five run top of the fifth inning, capped by a three-run home run by shortstop Whitney Arion, to defeat the Racers 9-5 on Monday night.
With the game tied 4-4, Pennsylvania (15-31) got the fifth inning started with a one-out double down the right field line that advanced catcher Kristyn Sandberg to third base. After designated player Sammie Garcia drew a walk to load the bases, The Rebellion’s Virginie Anneveld and Courtney Senas smacked back to back RBI singles to give Pennsylvania a 6-4 lead. Arion followed with her dinger to give the Rebellion plenty of insurance.
The Racers (22-25) got one run back in the bottom of the fifth inning when left fielder Shellie Robinson (South Carolina – Upstate) doubled down the left field line. Second baseman Ashley Thomas (Georgia Tech) plated Robinson with a single through the left side of the infield.
Akron left five runners on base over the last three innings of the game and stranded 10 runners total for the night.
“We gave them too many free bases in those two innings,” Racers manager Brian Levin said. “When they came back and tied it we lost all of our energy.
“You gotta come with it all seven innings, you can’t ever let off the gas.”
Pennsylvania got on the scoreboard early when second baseman Hanura Sakamoto took the first pitch she saw from Racer ace Sarah Pauly (Texas A&M – Corpus Christi) deep to left field for a solo home run to take a 1-0 lead. Pauly came into the game sporting a team best 1.93 ERA.
Akron regrouped during a 34-minute weather delay after the first inning and immediately answered the Rebellion. First baseman Briana Hamilton (Florida State) led off the bottom of the second inning for the Racers with a base hit right back up the middle. Hamilton scored from second base when right fielder Ayumi Karino shot a bouncer back up the middle, Sakamoto misplayed the ball for Pennsylvania. Shortstop Jill Barrett (Tulsa) followed Karino with a base hit that brought home Thomas. Karino scored on a ground out by designated player Nerissa Myers (Louisiana – Lafayette) to give Akron a 3-1 lead.
The Racers added another run in the third inning when when Thomas drove in third baseman Kelley Montalvo with a single to left field to put Akron ahead by three runs.
After working through the first three innings on just 28 pitches Pauly threw 26 pitches in the fourth inning before being relieved by Rachele Fico (Louisiana State) in the middle of the frame. Garcia sacrificed Sandberg and first baseman Alisa Goler to second and third base with two outs, but Pennsylvania was just getting started. The Rebellion tied the game with three runs, starting with third baseman Mandy Ogle’s RBI single to left field, scoring Sanderg. With the bases loaded, Pauly would hit Arion and walk left fielder Brittney Lindley in back-to-back at-bats to tie the game 4-4. Fico would come on and retire Sakamoto to end the inning.
“I’ve been trying to figure out (what went wrong),” Pauly said. “My timing was off. I was really rushed and rushing myself. Not pacing myself throughout the game.
“I just felt off and that’s my only conclusion.”
Fico could not stop the offensive onslaught in the fifth inning, surrendering all five runs in the frame.
The Rebellion were led by Goler, who was 3 for 4 on the evening with a double and two runs scored. Meanwhile, Akron was led offensively by Barrett, who was 3 for 4 with an RBI. Thomas was also 2 for 2 with 2 RBI’s.
The Racers conclude the regular season tomorrow night at Firestone Stadium against Pennsylvania at 8:05 p.m. in a game that will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network before heading to Hoover, Alabama for the 2015 NPF Championship Series where they will face the second-seeded Chicago Bandits in the first round.
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.
For more information about the Akron Racers visit www.akronracers.org or call 330-376-8188 About the Akron Racers: 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.
About National Pro Fastpitch: 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 o 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