Allentown, Pennsylvania - Momentum continued to rise as the Philadelphia Force (9-16) took on the Akron Racers at ECTB Stadium at Bicentennial Park. The Force prevailed in game one of their home series by a score of 7-0, pounding out seven hits and forcing five Racer errors. Shortstop Chelsea Spencer paced the way for Philadelphia going 3-for-4, with Jenna Hall adding three RBIs and Jennifer Stewart securing the win by pitching a three-hit
The Racers appeared to come out ready to play, leading the game off with a
double from Tracee McCoy, but Stewart squashed any momentum by inducing
three outs in the next four batters through a strike out, line out, and ground out.
Philadelphia capitalized off of one of Akron's five errors on the night in the first inning and never looked back. Spencer reached on a two-out fielder's choice after Leto led the game off with a walk, and after stealing to second and advancing to third on an error, she took off for home when she saw Le'i error in throwing back to the pitcher.
Both teams went down quietly in the second, but it was the Force to make some noise again in the third. Once again, Leto got things started with a lead-off single. Following Leto, both Pestrak and Spencer singled, loading the bases with no outs. Hall came to the plate next and scored her first RBI of the night with a fly ball to right field, allowing Leto to score from third base. Force catcher Realmuto walked in the next at-bat, once again loading the bases, but Racer hurler, Brandee McArthur, got out of the inning without further damage.
Stewart kept the Racer bats guessing, as Akron was unable to post another
hit until the fourth. Harmlessly, third baseman, Sara Larquier, managed a one-out double, but was left stranded.
The Force scored two more runs in the fifth, thanks in part to one hit and three Racer blunders. Pestrak reached on an error by the shortstop with no outs and immediately advanced to second on a Spencer single. The inning's first wild pitch moved the runners to third and second. With RBI-Queen Hall up to bat, a fly ball to left field scored Pestrak. Realmuto earned her second walk of the night and with runners on the corners, another wild pitch scored Spencer, putting the Force up 4-0.
Philadelphia put the game away in the sixth, posting three more runs on two hits and two errors. Action began once again with a Force runner reaching base with no outs, as Dacey singled to right field. Another McArthur mistake, a hit batsman, put runners at second at third, and a one-out error scored the first run of the inning. Pestrak walked and stole second, but the Racer catcher made an error on the play, allowing Leto to score easily. Spencer added yet another single, moving Pestrak over to third, and for the third time tonight, Hall came to the plate and followed through, adding an RBI on a fly-out to right field, completing the scoring.
Stewart sat the Racers down quietly in the seventh, as they were only able to muster one hit in the inning and no chance of a come-back. Stewart threw a complete game for the Force, allowing only three hits and issuing one walk.
Philadelphia will look to continue their momentum in Game Two tomorrow
night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM.
This game will be broadcasted on ESPN2 Saturday, July 29th at 12:00 PM