Akron, Ohio Peaches James tossed a two-hit shutout as the defending National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) champion New York Juggernaut topped Akron, 3-0, Thursday evening at Firestone Stadium.
The Juggernaut, winners of a best-of-three semifinal series over the Racers in last years NPF playoffs at Firestone Stadium, improved to 28-9 and solidified their playoff position. Akron, meanwhile, saw its four-game win streak halted and fell to 32-7.
Former Racer Trena Peel started New Yorks winning rally in the seventh inning when she struck out, but reached first base on a wild pitch. Chelsea Spencer singled Peel to second. Akron pitcher Brandee McArthur got the next two Juggernaut hitters, before walking Olympian Natasha Watley to load the bases.
Second baseman Carri Leto then stroked a two-run single to left-center field, scoring Peel and Spencer. Watley also came around to score on an error and Leto wound up on third.
The Racers went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh.
James (12-4) worked out of a first-and-third jam in the fourth, and did it again in the fifth. With two outs in fourth, Akrons Lindsey Bashor popped out to end the threat. In the fifth, Racer all-star third baseman Crystl Bustos popped out in the same situation.
McArthur (12-3) took the loss. Shortstop Kristin Johnson and left fielder Kelly Kretschman each singled for Akrons only hits. Peels second-inning double was the games only extra base hit.
The Racers entertain the Juggernaut again Friday at 7:05 p.m.