AKRON, OH (July 20, 2016) – The Akron Racers dropped the series finale with the Scrap Yard Dawgs 5-3 at Firestone Stadium on Wednesday afternoon as the home run once again buoyed the Dawgs’ offense, with three blasts accounting for all of the offense on the winning side.
After the Racers opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly by first baseman Sam Fischer to score center fielder Taylor Schlopy in the bottom of the first inning, the Dawgs (20-13) bounced back with back-to-back home runs by designated player Taylore Fuller and catcher Megan May-Whitley in the top of the second inning. Fuller’s blast plated shortstop Madison Shipman and first baseman Lexi Overstreet, before May-Whitley’s shot gave the Dawgs a 4-1 lead.
“We have got to re-charge,” Akron field manager Brian Levin said. “We are flat and I don’t know what that’s going to take, but we have to come back for practice tomorrow ready to go. I mean we just look out of energy.”
Energy may have been a factor for the Racers (19-15) as they finished a stretch of nine games in 10 days, which included playing the last eight days consecutively. But the Racers did show enough in the tank to mount a rally that fell just short.
Designated player Ashley Thomas (Georgia Tech) answered the Dawgs’ big inning with a solo home run to right field in the bottom half of the second inning to cut the lead to 4-2. The bomb was Thomas’ eighth extra base hit on the season – a new career-high.
Then, in the fourth inning, right fielder Cassie Tysarczyk (Texas A&M) kept the Racers chipping away as she sent a solo shot over the wall in left center field, which made it a one-run game.
“I’m going to credit it to our pitchers letting me stand in their bullpens and kind of seeing that movement continuously even when I’m not in the lineup,” Tysarczyk said. “And they have really given me an opportunity to set myself up for success.”
Rachel Fox got the start in the circle for the Dawgs and tossed four innings, allowing three runs on five hits before getting replaced by Monica Abbott. Abbott closed the book on the Racers as she finished the last 3.0 innings, allowing just one hit and retiring nine of the 10 batters she faced to earn her second save of the season.
In the top of the seventh inning, the Racers’ comeback attempt got a little tougher as Nerissa Myers hit her third home run in the series to push the Dawgs’ lead out to 5-3.
Akron starting pitcher Rachele Fico (LSU) came out throwing heat as she struck out a pair of Dawgs in the first inning, which set the tone for the rest of the night as she finished with eight strikeouts over 7.0 innings. In a stretch from the second to the third inning, Fico struck out four-straight batters.
“You know, (nine games in 10 days impacted us) just like it would impact anybody,” Thomas said. “You try to work up some energy and do whatever you can to make sure you are staying intense and all that.
“And that’s what we tried to do and on anyone’s body it’s going to be rough (with) eight straight games, it’s hard to do. But we are ready to keep going.”
Keep going they must do. With the conclusion of the six-game home stand today, the Racers will travel to Disney World for a three game series against the first place USSSA Pride, beginning on July 23. They will then make the trip back home from Orlando to take on the Chicago Bandits at Firestone Stadium for a three-game series on July 27. For ticket information contact the Akron Racers box office at 330-376-8188.
About the Scrap Yard Dawgs:
The Scrap Yard Dawgs will begin competition in the National Pro Fastpitch league in 2016. The Dawgs will provide elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and inspire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Houston area, the Dawgs organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and professionalism. Follow the Dawgs at www.scrapyarddawgs.com or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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.