JUNE 20 2012 UPDATE
A trio of doubles, strong pitching powers Racers to 11-1 victory over Bandits
Rosemont, Ill – June 20, 2012 – With bases loaded in the top of the fourth inning, Racers’ right fielder Sharonda McDonald opened the scoring against the Chicago Bandits (7-3) with a slap-hit single to left field, giving Akron a 1-0 lead.
The Racers (5-5) continued to pounce on Chicago’s pitching staff, compiling 11 runs to give Akron an 11-1 victory and return the squad to .500 on the season.
Kristina Thorson (3-2) took to the circle for the Racers, pitching a lights-out six innings of work to hold the potent Bandits lineup to just one run off five hits. Thorson bested six Bandits hitters with strikeouts while walking just two. Her ERA dropped to 3.75 on the season after the strong six innings with plenty of run support.
Just one batter after McDonald broke through in the top of the fourth inning, Racers’ centerfielder Lisa Modglin followed McDonald at the plate by blasting the ball to the left-center wall, scoring three more runs to give the Racers a 4-0 lead and place herself on second with a double.
The Racers batted around in the fourth inning, adding one more run to lead Chicago 5-0 in the top of the fourth.
Back-to-back-to-back doubles in the top of the fifth inning added two more runs to the Racers scoring column for a 7-0 lead after Kaylyn Castillo, Brianna Hesson and Taylor Schlopy blasted three consecutive doubles off Bandits’ pitcher Meagan Denny-White.
Akron went on to add four more runs in the game to seal the victory.
Hillary Bach entered the pitching circle for the Racers in the top of the seventh, closing out the victory with one strikeout.
AKRON RACERS SIGN LOBOS CATCHER JESSICA GARCIA
AKRON, Ohio – June 20, 2012 – The Akron Racers have announced that rookie free agent catcher, Jessica Garcia, has been signed to a one-year contract, completing the Akron Racers 2012 roster.
“Offensively, Jessica has proven to be a big time hitter and I’m excited to have her join our team and complete our 20 player roster,” said General Manager Joey Arrietta.
Arrietta has inserted a power hitter into the roster by signing Garcia who broke the University of New Mexico’s single-season records for: hits (81), runs batted in (69), slugging percentage (.917), and total bases (166).
As a catcher for the UNM, Garcia finished ranking in the top ten among all Division I softball players in five categories: home runs (third, 24), home runs per game (third, .46), runs-batted-in per game (fourth, 1.33), slugging percentage (sixth, 9.17), and batting average (seventh, .448).
“Jessica strengthens our defense at the catching position,” continues Arrietta. Garcia started all of the Lobos games, catching her junior and senior years, helping them to their first winning season in 10 years in 2012.
The Akron Racers (4-4) continue their exciting season with a series against the Chicago Bandits Saturday, June 23 at Firestone Stadium. The Title IX 40th Celebration is June 23.
Racers blanked by Bandits, 2-0
Rosemont, Ill – June 19, 2012 – Sharonda McDonald did her best to keep the Akron Racers out of Monica Abbott’s personal history book Tuesday night in a 2-0 loss to the Chicago Bandits.
In the top of the sixth, with one out and Abbott tossing a no-hitter, McDonald laid down a bunt in front of home plate and reached first with on a no-throw. It was just one of two hits the Racers could muster, with Sam Marder adding the other later in the inning.
The sixth was Akron’s best chance to end Abbott’s scoreless season, but Brianna Hesson struck out looking on a 3-2 pitch on the far outside corner to end the rally, leaving McDonald stranded at third and pinch runner Megan Bush at first.
On the other side of the ball for Akron, in her first career NPF start, Jennifer Mineau held her own against the defending NPF champions. Despite 29 pitches in the first inning, she worked out a jam, striking out Kristen Butler and Whitney Larsen, to keep the game scoreless.
The second inning was a slightly different story.
Amanda Williams singled and reached third after a Shannon Doepking sacrifice bunt and Vicky Galindo single. Both Galindo and Williams would score when shortstop Tammy Williams singled to center to take the 2-0 lead.
Akron caught a break one batter later that changed the course of the inning. Amber Patton lined one over McDonald’s head in center, scoring Williams from first, and reaching third in the process.
The run was nullified, however, after the umpires ruled Williams left first early, so Patton had to go back to the plate with a 1-0 count. Williams was the second out as a result. Mineau would end the inning on a Megan Wiggins pop out to the catcher.
From there Mineau held the Bandits’ bats in check, finishing with five hits allowed in 4.2 innings, four walks and three strikeouts. Hillary Bach pitched the final 1.1 innings, allowing no hits, no walks and no runs.
McDonald would end up leading the Racers’s offense, going 1-for-2 at the plate with a single, walk and a stolen base.
For Abbott, her NPF-leading season continued, pitching a complete game, two-hit shutout, walking two and striking out 14.
Gems Shine In Second Week of NPF 2012 Season
The action surrounding the NPF this weekend was nothing short of brilliant as the teams kicked off an exciting second week of the season. The season continued with the Bandits visiting the Diamonds in Kannapolis, North Carolina. The Bandits trip to Kannapolis notched a special occasion for the Diamonds marking the second time that a franchise has made its home in the Carolinas. The other series of the weekend sent the Racers to Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, Texas for a series hosted by the Pride.
The weekend included one hitters by last years Co-Pitchers of the Year, Monica Abbott and Cat Osterman; as well as complete games by seven other NPF pitchers and late game batting heroics by the Racers’ Sam Marder and the Pride’s Natasha Watley.
For the second time in as many weeks, the Diamonds saw a loss in a series at 1-3 after winning the opening game, this time to the Bandits. The opening game of the series starred Katie Burkhart who threw one of many gems by NPF pitchers over the weekend. She went the full seven innings allowing only three hits and one earned run with six strikeouts. This would be her first of three appearances of the weekend that would see her throw sixteen innings of work. Diamond pitching wasn’t the only thing that shined in the opening game of the series as the Carolina bats went ablaze. GiOnna DiSalvatore, Rachel Folden, and Angeline Quiocho combined to go six for eight and accounted for all five of the runs batted in for the Diamonds with a home run by Quiocho clinching the opening series game 5-1. The rest of the series, however, belonged to the Bandits. In Monica Abbott’s return to the circle after no-hit ball, she threw a no-hitter into the sixth inning giving up a single to Jami Lobpries. The outing included seven innings pitched with only one hit, twelve strikeouts and a 2-0 shutout of the Diamonds. On the flip side of the circle in game two, Rookie Watch pitcher Angel Bunner had a veteran-like performance carrying a no-hitter into the fifth but eventually allowing only one earned run and giving up three hits in a full seven innings of work. The third and fourth games of the series saw more of Katie Burkhart who threw a combined 9 innings in a start and relief appearance respectively, making the Diamonds’ workhorse total sixteen innings pitched with five earned runs on ten hits and eighteen strikeouts for the weekend. Tammy Williams stepped up in the second game of the series going two for two with two walks and accounting for four of the eight total runs scored in the Bandits 8-3 game three win. In that game Abbott retook the circle to record her first of two saves in the weekend. The series concluded with a close 5-4 win by the Bandits, which included the second of two saves on the weekend by Abbott and a second of two homeruns for Diamonds infielder Angeline Quiocho.
The other series in NPF action took place at What-a-burger Field Home of the Minor League AA affiliate Corpus Christi Hooks in Corpus Christi, Texas. The series was one that saw close competition from both teams as three of the four games were decided by a single run. Game one featured the first two of six complete game gems thrown by NPF pitchers this series. Kristina Thorson of the Racers went six innings with seven hits, three earned runs and a strikeout, but was over-shadowed by a strong performance from the Pride’s Danielle Lawrie who went seven innings with five hits, two earned runs and nine strikeouts, which resulted in a 3-2 win for the Pride. The second game of the series featured the second of the weekend’s two one hit games. USSSA Pride’s Cat Osterman showed hitters that she was fully back from off-season surgery by throwing a one hit gem consisting of a solo home run by Sam Marder in the top of the fourth which would be her first of two on the weekend. Osterman went seven innings with one hit, one earned run and ten strikeouts in twenty-three batters faced resulting in the 7-1 game two win for the Pride.
The third game of the series was a home coming for a pitcher who threw yet another complete game, Corpus Christi’s Sarah Pauly. Pauly went seven innings giving up only four hits, two earned runs and six strikeouts. The homecoming was something of an appetizer for what would ensue in the final game of the series. Drama and heroics were not in short supply during the final game of the series when the pitchers duel was settled by homeruns by both teams late in the eighth inning. NPF Rookie pitcher Brittany Mack watched her no-hitter get broken up by a double by Brianna Hesson in the top of the seventh. After getting through the inning unscathed, Mack would proceed to go into extras and give up what would be the eventual game winning grand slam to Sam Marder, her second homerun of the weekend. Mack’s final line would be eight innings pitched with four hits, four earned runs and seven strikeouts. Kristina Thorson was also electric in the circle finishing up the complete game at eight innings pitched as well with seven hits, three earned runs and seven strikeouts. The Pride looked to have a chance in the bottom of the eighth. Natasha Watley delivered her comeback effort by blasting a three run homerun to bring the Pride within one on what was only Watley’s third career homerun, but Thorson eventually resettled to finish out the last two batters for the win and avoid the sweep of the series by the Pride.
NPF action continues this coming weekend with the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX in Akron as the Racers host the Bandits. In Clermont, Florida, the Pride host the Diamonds in what should be a fun filled weekend of softball. Fans interested in following pitch-by-pitch can do so with several different options. Live streaming can be viewed on the NPF website, profastpitch.com, or by downloading the brand new NPF app available for both iPhone and Android OS. Additionally, fans can follow along through live stats provided by Pointstreak Technologies. A Pointstreak app can also be downloaded to personal computers and is available in the Google Play and Apple app stores. Finally, fans can follow their favorite team or the NPF on Twitter or Facebook for up to the minute updates on what’s going on in the game.