2017 NPF

Championship Series

August 17-20


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Heat Hand Racers First Loss of the Season

Game Box Score

Akron , Ohio – The Arizona Heat scored four runs in the seventh inning to come from behind and hand the Akron Racers its first loss of the season. The Racers committed three errors, a season-high, and were unable to come up with a timely hit and dropped the game by a final score of 6-4.

For the third consecutive game Akron posted a first inning run to give the team a 1-0 lead following a Jenny Topping single to center that brought home Iyhia McMichael. Heat starter and 2006 third-round draft pick, Desiree Serrano, settled into a groove and allowed only one hit over the next four innings, cooling off the Racers bats.

Arizona tied the game 1-1 in the fourth inning when the first of three Akron errors lead to a Heat run. Racer shortstop Kristin Johnson was unable to field a Toni Mascarenas ground ball who eventually came around to score on a Shelly Schultz RBI single.

The Heat, without managing a hit, loaded the bases in the top of the fifth. Brandee McArthur, the Racers starting pitcher, hit Jeanette Rincon with a pitch and walked the next batter in Kaleo Eldredge before being lifted from the game. Radara McHugh came on in relief and had control problems of her own, walking the first two batters she faced, each on four pitches. The second walk was given up to Mascarenas and without a base open scored Rincon from third. Arizona took the lead 2-1, the first time this season that Akron trailed in a contest.

In a back and forth game, the Racers regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Crystl Bustos reached on error to leadoff the inning and advanced to second when Oli Keohohou walked. With runners on first and second Jenny Topping ripped a single to center, bringing home Bustos to tie the game at two. Bustos went 3-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. Pinch-hitter Stephanie Pomes delivered an RBI single, plating Keohohou, giving the Racers a 3-2 lead heading into the seventh.

Arizona recorded consecutive singles to start off the top of the seventh inning. Mascarenas layed down a sacrifice bunt, leaving two runners in scoring position for clean-up hitter Nichole Thompson. Thompson blasted a two RBI single back up the middle and the Heat led 4-3. An error by Bustos at third kept the inning alive and the Heat tacked on two insurance runs.

Akron responded with a run in the bottom of the frame but it wasn't enough and the Heat took the win 6-4. Serrano threw a complete game to notch her first career NPF win. The Arizona State standout allowed four runs, two earned, on eight hits while striking out four and walking three. McHugh recorded the loss after tossing two and two thirds innings and giving up four runs, two earned, on five hits.

The teams continue their four-game series Friday evening with a 7:05 first pitch. It is 50's night at Firestone Stadium and fans are encouraged to come dressed in 50's attire.