Akron , Ohio It will not be a game to remember for the Akron Racers as the New England Riptide had its way at the plate in an 8-3 win at Firestone Stadium Thursday night.
Highlighted by the sixth inning when New England (23-12) batted through the order and plated four runs, the Riptide notched an important victory as they battle for the second spot in the NPF standings.
For the second night in a row New England scored first following three consecutive singles in the first inning which knocked in a run, giving starting pitcher Danielle Henderson (7-3) the lead before she ever even stepped into the circle.
The Racers (24-17) Brandee McArthur was never able to find a comfort zone on
the mound and was taken out in the top of the third after allowing a single to Lisa Iancin who would eventually come around to score the second run of the game.
McArthur (6-8) was re-entered into the game in the fifth after Radara McHugh
tossed one and two thirds innings but her struggles continued. At that point Akron had the tied game, 2-2, following Emily Price's first homerun of the year, a solo shot to left, and an RBI single by Stephanie Pomes.
Riptide designated Player Tarrah Beyster was hit by a pitch to leadoff the fifth and then KJ Kelly belted a two-run homer, her third, giving New England a 4-2 lead, one which they wouldn't relinquish.
The defense was unable to pick-up the pitching effort as the Racers made five errors in the field, three of which led to runs for the opposition. Two of those errors came in the sixth inning when the Riptide sent ten batters to the plate. Beyster, who went 2-for-3 with 3 RBI's on the evening, recorded a two-run, bases-loaded, single. New England plated two more runs in sixth to break the game open at 8-3.
The final pitching line on McArthur was three and a third innings pitched, 11 hits, eight runs, six of them earned, one walk and two strikeouts. Racers rookie pitcher Melissa Massey closed out the final two innings in her Firestone Stadium debut.
Henderson got the win for the Riptide after tossing four innings, and giving up three runs, all earned, on four hits. Erica Beach recorded her first save of the year after pitching the last three innings, allowing only one hit.
Akron shortstop Sara Larquier joined teammate Pomes in going yard for the
first on the season with a solo homerun to left in the fifth inning.
The Racers and Riptide play game three of the four-game series Friday at Firestone Stadium. First pitch is set for 7:05.