Akron, OH-June 23, 2015– It was a steamy night in Akron, Ohio as the USSSA Pride and Akron Racers squared off for the rubber match of their three-game series before a live television audience on CBS Sports Network for the second night in a row. The Pride took game one with a 6-2 decision over the hometown team on Sunday afternoon. The Racers evened the series at 1-1 with an inspired performance over the Pride’s ace, Cat Osterman, 2-0, before a packed house at historic Firestone Stadium.
The Racers’ Alison Owen and the Pride’s Chelsea Thomas took to the circle for their respective teams for the teams second night on CBS Sports Network.
The Akron Racers (6-8) defeated the USSSA Pride (6-4) live on CBS Sports Network back-to-back, 3-2. The Racers took the series two games to one over the reigning NPF Champion, USSSA Pride.
Kelly Kretschman slammed a solo home run to center field to put the Pride up by one in the top half of the first inning. Kretschman extends her hitting streak to 10 games with 19 hits on the season.
In the bottom of the first, starter, Chelsea Thomas struck out Jill Barrett for the first out of the inning. Taylor Schlopy walked but was doubled off first base after Nerissa Myers lined out to Thomas.
Amanda Kamekona singled and Bridgette Del Ponte followed with a doubled to center field in the second inning plating Kamekona to improve the Pride lead 2-0.
Lisa Norris entered the game in relief of Owen in the top of the third. The Pride followed in the bottom half of the inning by sending Andrea Williamson in to replace Chelsea Thomas.
In the third inning, the Racers offense responded with a run of their own. Haley Outon singled and Cassie Tysarczyk grounded out to second base allowing Outon to move to second on the fielder’s choice. Jill Barrett singled to left scoring Outon for the Racers first run of the game to leave the Pride only up by one. The damage was done after a pop fly to Pendley ended the inning.
Norris retired the side quickly and stopped the Pride offense that went down in order to keep the score at 2-1. In the bottom of the fourth, Outon was hit by the pitch and moved to second on a passed ball. Tysarczyk walked and Outon stole third base. Thomas delivered a sharply hit shot to centerfield scoring Outon from third tying the game, 2-2.
Norris would dominate the game in the circle for the Racers. Her movement and control would stymie the powerful Pride lineup.
The Pride made another pitching change in the bottom of the sixth bringing in Jordan Taylor to finish out the game. Thomas and Barrett both singled to place Thomas in scoring position at second base. The red-hot Taylor Schlopy delivered what would become the game-winning hit to drive in Thomas for the 3-2 Racers advantage heading into the top of the seventh inning. Jordan Taylor ended the inning with a strikeout but it wasn’t enough as the damage was already done.
In the top of the seventh, it was the veteran Norris taking command of the game. Del Ponte ground out to Montalvo for out number one. Norris then struck out pinch hitters Madison Shipman and Chelsea Goodacre to defeat the Pride, 3-2.
The winning pitcher was Lisa Norris who retired 13 of the last 14 batters, while the losing pitcher was Jordan Taylor. The Racers finished with three runs and seven hits, and the Pride with two runs and four hits.
The Pride have a day off but it will be spent travelling to Pennsylvania where they will face the Rebellion in a three game series from June 25th-27th. All three games start at 6:35 PM (ET).
Location: Firestone Stadium
1575 Firestone Parkway
Akron, Ohio 44301
Records: USSSA Pride: (6-4) Akron Racers: (6-8)
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About USSSA Florida Pride: The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
About NPF: National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League
About USSSA: The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA.