Jailyn Ford Photo Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
AKRON, OH (June 15, 2016) – The starting pitchers stole the show on Wednesday night, slowing down a pair of prolific offenses, but in the end it was Chicago Bandits starter Sara Moulton outshining Racers rookie pitcher Jailyn Ford (James Madison) to record the 5-1 victory.
Ford and Moulton were nearly unhittable and made seemingly every pitch through most of the night, until Taylor Edwards stepped to the plate in the top sixth inning with a 1-1 score and teammate Jill Barrett standing on first base. She launched a 1-0 pitch deep over the fence in dead centerfield and delivered the key hit for the Bandits to put them ahead 3-1.
“I just said (to the team after the game) we have to learn from these last three games,” Racers centerfielder Taylor Schlopy said. “We are going to face them three more times. We are going to their place, so we just got to evaluate the game, learn from it, move on and beat them at home.”
Up until the Edwards home run both pitchers were stellar, making only one mistake, each on the evening. For Ford, that mistake came to the very first batter of the game, when leadoff hitter Brittany Cervantes put Chicago (7-4) ahead 1-0 on a solo home run to left-center field in the top of the first inning.
Following the home run Ford was spectacular, retiring the next 14 hitters and 15 of the next 16 to get through the first five innings nearly unscathed.
“Jailyn was the normal Jailyn — very focused,” Levin said. “You know, she just made a couple mistakes that cost her.”
Moulton was equally impressive, retiring the first eight hitters of the game, before Akron (5-4) second baseman Ashley Thomas stepped to the plate and delivered a long ball of her own to tie the game 1-1 in the bottom of the third inning.
“We are a very high energy team and we do well whenever we are really pumped up and, you know, into the game,” Thomas said. “So I think we just need to get that back— a little more energy and intensity and I think we will put it all together.”
Moulton would go on to retire eight of the next nine Racers and wouldn’t give up a hit the rest of the game, throwing 5.2 innings, allowing one run on one hit with three walks and three strikeouts.
The Racers allowed two more runs in the top of the seventh inning, as Ford gave up base hits to second baseman Danielle Zymkowitz and pinch hitter Tatum Edwards and a walk to pinch hitter Kelsey Dotson before exiting the game.
Ford allowed six hits in 6.2 innings pitched with two walks and four strikeouts, but wound up with five runs allowed after relief pitcher Sarah Pauly walked the first two batters she faced to bring home Zymkowitz and Edwards.
“We just have to flush this, go back to business and play smart softball,” Racers field manager Brian Levin said. “And continue to have fun out here. That’s part of it. It seems like as the game moved on, they were putting a little bit of pressure on themselves and things like that. It’s still a game.”
After a three-game series in Chicago, the Racers travel to Dallas to take on the Charge Monday and Tuesday in the first two games on CBS Sports Network of the season, before returning home to face the USSSA Florida Pride for two games next weekend. For ticket information contact the Racers box office at 330-376-8188 or online at www.akronracers.org.
About the Chicago Bandits:
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level, and the roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May-Johnson, Emily Allard and Tammy Williams. The three-time NPF Champions, who are owned by Bill Sokolis, play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women’s professional team. The 2016 season will be the Bandits' 12th season in the NPF.
The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, OH, are the oldest existing team in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league, celebrating their 15th Season of Play in 2016. 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.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF):
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series. The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.
Note to Media
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