Akron, Ohio - The Akron Racers lost to Team China 2-1 due mostly to
uncharacteristically bad defense early.
The first batter of the game, Zhou Yi, hit a sharp ground ball to shortstop Kristin Johnson and beat out the throw to first for the first hit of the game. After a sacrifice bunt advanced Yi to second, designated player Xin Min Hong hit a ball back to pitcher Jamee Juarez. However, when Juarez attempted to throw Yi out leaning towards third, a throw by third baseman Norelle Dickson back to second sailed into right field.
Dickson's throwing error allowed Yi to score an unearned run. Min Hong advanced to third on the play and scored two batters later when Zhang Ai hit a double to left
field. Ai would be retired after the second error of the inning when Johnson was
able to catch her off third making up for her own error.
In the top of the first, China scored two unearned runs on two hits and two errors.
From there Juarez and her Akron (11-7) teammates settled down not allowing another Chinese runner to score. Juarez only allowed only two more batters to reach base in the last six innings on a two-out walk in the top of the third inning and a lead-off double to catcher Pan Xia in the sixth inning.
Juarez finished the day going the full seven innings giving up two unearned runs on
three hits, a walk and four strikeouts.
Unfortunately for Juarez, the Racer bats never found the rhythm that the defense
did. The only offense for the Racers all night was a two out smash over the left
field fence by Veronica Wootson. The home run was Wootson's third in two games against China and made her the sole leader of home runs in the NPF.
Akron's best opportunities to score came in the first and final innings as they had
the bases loaded with one out in the home half of the first, and runners on the
corners with one out in bottom of the seventh, but failed to deliver the definitive
blow to China both times.
The poor defense and hitting led to Juarez's third loss of the year, dropping her to
6-3, even though she did not give up an earned run.
For Team China, Li Qi picked up the complete game victory yielding one run on four hits and three walks while striking out eight, while never giving up more than one hit in an inning.
China and Akron will play game three of this even four game series tomorrow at 7:05 P.M. as the Asian festival continues with pre-game festivities beginning at 5:00 P.M.
For ticket information, contact the Akron Racer ticket office at (330)376-8188.