Nicole Schroeder (Akron Racers) Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
AKRON, OH (June 27, 2017) – The Akron Racers continued to thrive in front of their home crowd, and outfielder Shellie Robinson, in particular, continued swing a hot bat at Firestone Stadium, leading the Racers (8-8) to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Bandits on Tuesday night. Akron improved to 4-1 on the first homestand of the season.
With the game tied 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Robinson stepped to the plated with two outs and the speedy A.J. Andrews on second base. Robinson ripped a line drive over Chicago centerfielder Sammy Marshall’s head to bring Andrews home easily, while Robinson raced into third base for her first triple of the year.
With Robinson’s game-winning hit, she improves to 9-for-17 in five games at Firestone Stadium with two home runs, a triple and seven RBI.
“Shellie came through on a pitch she’s been struggling with a little bit,” Racers Field Manager Charlotte Morgan said. “So, I was just excited that we actually came through on offense.”
The one run advantage was all that Akron pitcher Alexis Silkwood would need to secure the victory. Silkwood, who came on in relief of starter Rachele Fico to begin the fifth inning, allowed just one hit, and retired 9 of the eleven batters she faced in her three innings of work. Silkwood earned her team-best third win of the season, bringing her record to 3-1 on the year.
“Just go in there and get your job done and get outs for this team,” Silkwood said. “Keep us in the game and just go out there and do my job. Just trust the defense, trust Griffin, trust the process and just get outs.”
The Racers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the second inning, against Chicago starter Ellen Roberts. After designated player Jennifer Gilbert walk and third baseman Kelley Montalvo singled to start off the inning, Racers’ rookie Nicole Schroeder promptly drove both base runners in with a double to right-center field. Schroeder, who made her first start at first base for Akron this season, was named the Vaultz Lock It Up Player of the Game.
“I think the biggest thing was we got some clutch hits,” Morgan said about the victory. “Schroeder played first today for the first time, so I thought it was good she stepped up in a clutch situation.”
Racers starting pitcher Rachele Fico held the Bandits scoreless through the first three innings of the game, before Chicago mounted a rally. In the top of the fourth inning, left fielder Natalie Hernandez led off with a home run over the left field wall. With two outs in the same inning, Abby Ramirez ripped a single through the right side of the infield, plating Stacy May-Johnson to tie the game 2-2.
The win evens the season series with the Bandits at 2-2. Akron will face off against the Bandits (11-10) again tomorrow at Firestone Stadium, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET. For information or to order tickets contact the Racers ticket office at 330-376-8188.
About the Akron Racers: The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, OH, are the oldest existing team in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. The Racers will celebrate their 16th season of play in 2017. 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.
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2004, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Akron Racers, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Chicago Bandits, Scrap Yard Dawgs, Texas Charge and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2017 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada and China among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.