Sam Marder (Photo by Dina Kwit)
Rosemont IL – August 22, 2013 - The Akron Racers (17-32) used a 4-run fifth inning rally to accelerate past the NY/NJ Comets (10-39) for good, in opening round action Thursday night of the 2013 NPF Championship Series. The win moves the Racers to round two of title action in the league's season finale.
NY/NJ took the lead in their very first at-bat off a Dorian Shaw single to center that scored Angeline Quiocho from second base. Quiocho walked to lead off the inning and moved to second on a booted infield grounder off the bat of Bianca Mejia.
The Comets 1-0 lead stood until the bottom half of the fifth inning when Kelly Montalvo reached base on a Comets mis-cue. With one out, Kaylyn Castillo singled to put Racers runners on the corners. The table was set for the Racer's slugger, Sam Marder who was robbed earlier in the game of a homerun by a stellar Quiocho catch above the left field wall. This time, however, Marder made the left center field launch a no-doubter, bringing home three, and giving Akron the lead they would not surrender. Three more singles in the inning plated Jessica Garcia and gave Akron a 4-1 lead.
NY/NJ's Angeline Quiocho did her best to rally the Comets with one out in the top of the seventh, hitting a towering blast to left centerfield. It would be a short-lived rally though, as Akron reliever Rachel Fico wrapped up her seventh win of the season, coaxing the final two outs of the inning following Bianca Mejia walk. Fico came on in relief of Akron starter Lisa Norris in the top of the fifth inning.
All NPF member, Olivia Galati took the loss for the Comets as they exited the Championship Series and wrapped up their inaugural season of professional competition.
Akron will take on the Series' #2 seeded USSSA Pride on Friday at 5:30. The winner of that game will advance to the Final Series best of three match-up against the #1 seeded Chicago Bandits that begins Friday night at 8:30. The Series continues Saturday at 4:00 pm with game 2 of the Final Series, followed by an "if necessary" game at 7:00.
All games are played at The Ballpark at Rosemont. Friday's action can be found via live stream at www.profastpitch.com. Saturday's 4:00 game will be live on ESPN2. The "if necessary" game 3 of the Final Series will be carried live on ESPN3 and aired on ESPN2 Sunday at 4:00.
About National Pro Fastpitch
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) is the only professional women’s fastpitch softball league in the United States. Headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., the four-team league was created in 1997 to give female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport. NPF offers family friendly entertainment and showcases the world’s top talent in fastpitch softball, as all active former U.S. Olympians and many decorated college graduates play in the league. NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball.