Akron, Ohio - Kellie Wilkerson provided the offensive spark for the Philadelphia Force with her second home run in as many days. This one was a two run shot that broke a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth inning and led Philadelphia to a 3-1 victory.
Margo Pruis for the Force and Alicia Hollowell for the Racers were both working shut outs after five innings.
The Force (17-17) had been knocking on the door for most of the evening, but could never make anything of it. Philadelphia had two runners on five times with less than two outs, including both of the first two innings, but Hollowell managed to get out of nearly every jam she found herself in.
In the top of the sixth, the Force finally got to Hollowell who was making her first start for Akron (18-12) since returning from playing with Team USA. A lead-off single by Jenna Hall brought Wilkerson to the plate. Wilkerson continued where she left off last night as she sent a two-run home run soaring into the night sky. The home run made Wilkerson 4-6 in her two games this series.
The Force added another run the top of the seventh after a bad throw by Hollowell on a bunt single by Chelsea Spencer allowed Emily Friedman to score making the score 3-0.
Pruis kept things going for the Force defensively as she had a shut out headed into the bottom of the seventh inning only allowing two hits and three walks up to that point.
Kristen Butler broke a fourteen inning scoreless streak for the Racers and gave them their first run of the series when she sent a towering fly ball over the left field fence for her seventh home run of the season to start the inning. The solo shot was Butler's second hit of the game. The home run made the score 3-1 and that's where it would stay as Pruis retired the next three hitters in order.
Pruis (4-5) had the Racers, with the exception of Butler, baffled all night. Akron never had more than one base runner on for the entire game and only two runners got past first as Pruis showed her control. She allowed one run on only three hits and three walks while striking out three in seven innings of work.
Hollowell (1-2) takes the loss for the Racers as she went the distance, as well, allowing three runs, two earned, on ten hits and three walks while striking out seven in seven innings.
The Akron loss dropped the Racers into the fourth and final playoff spot in the NPF standings; while the win brought the Force back to .500.
The Racers meet up with the Force once again tomorrow night at 7:05 for the third game in this four game series.
For ticket information, please contact the Akron Racers at (330)376-8188.