Akron , Ohio Despite a seventh inning rally by the Akron Racers, the Arizona Heat pulled out a 3-2 victory to earn a split in the four-game series.
The Heat (3-5) posted all three of its runs in the second inning off of Racers starter Brandee McArthur. Third baseman Shelly Schultz started off the frame by drawing a leadoff walk. With Schultz on first the designated player Shana Easley ripped a double down the left field line past Akron's Kim Gonzalez. Schultz scored on the play to give the Heat a 1-0 lead.
Following a single by LaDonia Hughes, Easley advanced to third. Hughes made it two players in scoring position for Kaleo Eldredge when she stole second. Eldredge capitalized on the opportunity by knocking a 2 RBI single to center, extending the lead to 3-0.
The Racers (5-2) had trouble all night getting the bats going. Heat pitcher Desiree Serrano (2-0) pitched her second complete game of the series to record the win.
Missing from the Racers' lineup this evening was first baseman Oli Keohohou who twisted her left ankle in pre-game warm-ups. The slugger, who is tied for the team lead with two home runs, is listed as day-to-day.
Even with Akron's struggles at the plate the team had multiple scoring opportunities. Serrano had control problems and walked six batters, but the Racers were unable to deliver a clutch hit and eight runners were left on base.
The Racers mounted a comeback attempt in the bottom of the seventh when pinch hitter Stephanie Pomes and centerfielder Iyhia McMichael, recorded back-to-back hits to leadoff the inning.
With runners on second and third Kristin Johnson skied a flyball to left that was dropped by Eldredge allowing both Pomes and McMichael to score, bringing the Racers within one at 3-2. That was as close Akron would get.
Jenny Topping flew out to center and Johnson was thrown out at second to complete a doubleplay. Serrano then struckout Tracee McCoy to end the game.
The Racers will go on the road for the first time this season starting a four-game series at Connecticut Thursday. Four Akron players will not make the trip with the team as they are headed for the National Team tryouts. Those players are pitcher Jamie Southern, third baseman Crystal Bustos, centerfielder Iyhia McMichael and catcher Jenny Topping. The Heat will also send shortstop Toni Mascarenas to tryout.
The team will return home Wednesday, June 21st to take on the Chinese Taipei team. Tickets for the 7:05 p.m. game are on sale now. Please call the Akron Racers for more information at 330-376-8188.