Sarah Pauly Photo by Ryan Breiding Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
AKRON, OH (June 28, 2016) – The Akron Racers entered Tuesday night in need of a big performance to get back on the winning track and veteran pitcher Sarah Pauly (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) delivered a huge performance. Pauly baffled the Pennsylvania Rebellion bats for most of the night, delivering a complete game performance in a 5-1 win at Firestone Stadium.
"(Pauly’s performance) was key for us. It's why we went with her in this game here,” Racers Brian Levin said. “We really needed a good performance and she performed well. I'm really proud of her and she kind of took it on her shoulders and did a good job."
Pauly only surrendered one unearned run while scattering nine hits and one walk and striking out three Rebellion (7-14) hitters.
“It was very important to start the series against the Rebellion strongly,” Pauly said. “We just got off of the road games with the Pride and fell with three games against them, so coming out here and just trying to make a statement was our main goal."
Akron (10-8) got clutch hits when it needed them the most off of Rebellion starter Haylie Wagner, who was nearly as effective for most of the night at limiting the Racer offense. Wagner had retired six of the first eight Akron batters when right fielder A.J. Andrews stepped to the plate to lead off the bottom of the third inning. Andrews (Louisiana State) blasted her first professional home run to center field to put the Racers ahead 1-0.
"Having fun just makes you play loose,” Andrews said of the team’s mindset. “I think when you try and do too much, you play tight and you don't perform as well. At least this team doesn't."
Akron added an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth inning when catcher Griffin Joiner (Kentucky) plated designated player Alex Hugo (Georgia) and double the lead to 2-0.
Pauly faced her first real trouble of the game in the top of the fifth inning when Pennsylvania second baseman Kayla Winkfield led off by getting on base by a fielding error by shortstop Sami Fagan. Third baseman Stacey Porter and first baseman Alisa Goler followed with base hits, as Winkfield scored on the hit by Goler.
Pauly managed to escape any further trouble as third baseman Kelley Montalvo and Fagan teamed up to retire Porter on a fielder’s choice the very next batter, before Pauly fielded an Alexa Peterson ground ball and forced designated player Mandy Ogle to pop out to Fagan to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth inning Fagan (Missouri) blew the game open with a three-run home run to centerfield that scored Andrews and centerfielder Taylor Schlopy (Georgia) to make the score 5-1.
"We were just ready for another win,” Fagan said. “We are pumped to play in front of this crowd, because we have a great home crowd, and we just want to give them a show. So, we were just really excited to play here."
The Racers, who remained in second place in the NPF with the win, will welcome the Rebellion back to Firestone Stadium Wednesday night for the conclusion of their two-game series. For ticket information contact the box office at 330-376-8188 and for all things Racers visit the team’s website at http://www.akronracers.org.
About the Pennsylvania Rebellion:
The Rebellion is a professional women’s softball team competing as part of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF). In their third season in the league, 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 Pennsylvania Rebellion, please visit www.pennsylvaniarebellion.com or call 724-250-9555.
About the Akron Racers:
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
Photos and b-roll of players is available. Interviews with the league commissioner are welcomed, and top players from each team are accessible immediately. If you’re interested in pursuing story angles about professional softball for women, please don’t hesitate to contact us.