Akron , Ohio The Akron Racers struggled in the field and at the plate in a 3-1 loss to the Chinese Taipei, Wednesday at Firestone Stadium.
Two first inning errors committed by the Racers (7-5) opened the door for the Chinese National team to plate two runs and take an early lead. Lai Meng Ting leadoff of the game with a single to center and advanced to third when Crystl Bustos made a throwing error on a groundball hit by Lo Hsiao Ting.
With runners on second and third shortstop Kristin Johnson misplayed a grounder allowing the first Chinese run to score. Hsiao Ting notched the second run after stealing home on a designed double steal. Both runs were unearned for Akron's starting pitcher Jamie Southern (3-1), who lost for the first time this season.
The Racers were held scoreless until the bottom of the fifth when catcher Jenny Topping drilled her first home run of the season over the wall in left. The solo shot brought Akron back within two runs at 3-1.
Two Chinese Taipei pitchers combined to allow only four hits and frustrated the Racers' bats for most of the evening. Akron did have scoring opportunities in both the sixth and seventh innings but the team couldn't come up with a big hit.
Bustos flew out to center on an off-speed pitch leaving Iyhia Michael stranded on third base in the sixth.
Another scoring threat came up short in the closing frame. Caitlin Benyi was up 3-0 in the count but ended up striking out swinging. The Racers managed to put runners on first and second but relief pitcher Lai Sheng Jung got Tracee McCoy to go down swinging for the final out of the game.
The Racers and the Chinese Taipei will play game two of the four-game series Thursday night at Firestone Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05. Great seats remain for the game and fans can contact the Akron Racers' ticket office at 330-376-8188.