AKRON, OH. – August 11, 2015 - The Pennsylvania Rebellion spoiled the host Akron Racers' (22-26) regular season finale in a back-and-forth offensive slugfest 13-8 in a game called in the bottom of the sixth inning due to a sudden rain storm.
In a game that saw the lead change hands twice, along with two tied scores, Pennsylvania (16-32) broke out with four runs in the top of the fifth inning to break a 7-7 tie.
Rebellion third baseman Lara Andrews and shortstop Whitney Arion kicked off the fifth inning with back-to-back singles. Later in the inning, catcher Kristyn Sandberg drove in Andrews with a base hit and centerfielder Sammie Garcia immediately followed with a hit of her own to plate Arion to put Pennsylvania ahead 9-7. First baseman Alisa Goler then scored both Sandberg and Garcia with a double to centerfield to put the Rebellion ahead for good.
Pennsylvania added two insurance runs in the top of the sixth inning when Arion scored second baseman Hanura Sakamoto with a single up the middle. Arion would later score on a sacrifice fly by Sandberg to put the Rebellion up 13-7.
Arion continued her hot hitting against the Racers going 3-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored on Tuesday and her second home run in as many nights.
Akron started to rally in the bottom of the sixth inning when right fielder Ayumi Karino (Japan) doubled to left-center field to lead off the inning. Shortstop Jill Barrett (Tulsa) followed Karino with an RBI single to cut the deficit to 13-8. Two batters later, the rain came with designated player Nerissa Myers (Louisiana-Lafayette) up and a 1-1 count when the game was called.
The Racers got off to a fast start as Akron’s first hit of the game was a homerun by Barrett to left field. The first six Racer hitters would all reach safely in the inning. After centerfielder Taylor Schlopy (Georgia) followed with a walk, Myers laid down a perfect bunt. Pennsylvania starting catcher Mandy Ogle committed a throwing error on the play that brought Schlopy all the way home from first base and allowed Myers to reach third base. Left fielder Shellie Robinson (South Carolina - Upstate)plated Myers on the next play with a lined triple to left field. Robinson then came home on a bunt single by first baseman Briana Hamilton (Florida State) that completed the four run inning and gave Akron a 4-0 lead.
The Rebellion held the Racers scoreless in the second and third innings, while their own bats heated up to pull ahead for a 7-4 lead. Pennsylvania added two runs in the top of the second inning when Garcia brought home Andrews with a base hit and Ogle scored left fielder Cheyenne Cordes on a sacrifice fly.
The Rebellion would take the lead for the first time in the top of the third inning as a three-run home run by Arion. Cordes followed with a dinger of her own to give Pennsylvania a 6-4 lead.
The Rebellion added a run in the top of the fourth inning to give them a 7-4 advantage, but the Rebellion weren’t able to get comfortable for long. Myers hit her ninth homerun of the season in the bottom of the fourth inning to bring home Schlopy and Karino to tie the game. Myers went 3-for-3 on the night with two runs scored and three RBI.
Tuesday marked the last time Racer veteran Lisa Norris will pitch at Firestone Stadium, Norris previously announced her retirement from the NPF following the 2015 season.
Akron will look to rebound as it prepares for the NPF Championship Series in Hoover, Alabama this weekend. The third-seeded Racers will play #2 Chicago Bandits in the first round with the first game scheduled for 5 p.m. Central Time on Friday evening.
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