Akron, Ohio-- Jamie Southern tossed a four-hit shutout and Iyhia McMichael hit her sixth home run of the season as the Akron Racers defeated the California Sunbirds, 3-0.
The Racers won their 14th straight game and improved to 16-1. Akron leads the Chicago Bandits (15-2) in the National Pro Fastpitch standings. The Racers pitching staff has allowed just one earned run in its last 69 innings of work. The Sunbirds slipped to 0-9.
McMichael walked to lead off the bottom of the first. She stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. Shortstop Kristin Johnson followed with an RBI single to give Akron an early 1-0 lead.
It was McMichael again in the third frame, stroking a solo home run and scoring her NPF-leading 31st run of the season. The Racers center fielder and 2004 NPF Most Valuable Player raised her batting average to .454 with a two for two night. In that same inning, Johnson singled and later scored on first baseman Oli Keohohous ground out.
A member of the 2005 U.S. National Team, Southern was dominant in her second start as a Racer. She fanned 10 and walked one. Southern has worked 14 scoreless innings for the Racers.
Sunbird first baseman Garland Cooper managed the only extra base hit off Southern, a double in the fourth inning. California second baseman Veronica Wootson was the only Sunbird to reach third base when she walked in the sixth inning.
Akron and California meet in Game Two of the four-game set Friday at 7:05 p.m.