AKRON, Ohio—The Akron Racers continued their winning ways on Friday night as they won their fourth consecutive game and their third straight against the Netherlands National Team 7-4. The Racers (5-6) scored a pair of runs in the first inning and never looked back as they held the lead throughout the game.
University of Houston product Angel Shamblin (1-1) toed the rubber for the Racers on Friday and threw 4.2 innings of one run softball before being relieved. It was her best outing of the season by far as she struck out seven and gave up just four hits.
The Racers’ bats proved to still be alive during this series as they hit two more homeruns to bring their total on the pastthree games to seven. First baseman Kate Robinson struck in the first inning by sending one out for the third game in a row. The Netherlands pitchers were very careful with her during the rest of the game intentionally walking her in her final two plate appearances.
Captain catcher Kristen Butler also went long on Friday, connecting in the bottom of the fifth inning for a three run shot over the left-center field wall, following an intentional free pass to Robinson.
Kent State product Jessica Toocheck continued the hit parade when she tripled to center field and later scored on a Jherica Williams single in the bottom of the fourth.
The Racers continue to give the Dutch pitchers trouble as the Olympic team went through three pitchers on their way to giving up seven runs to Akron.
Veteran pitcher Radara McHugh entered the game during the fifth inning to finish off the Netherlands and earn the save, her first on the year. Things began to look dicey in the top of the sixth inning, when the Racers shortstop, Toocheck, booted a ground ball with two outs. The error allowed three Dutch runners to eventually score cutting the once large lead to the final score. McHugh was able to hold on after that, shutting the Netherlands down in order to end the game in the seventh.
For the Netherlands, first baseman Kim Kluijskens provided the biggest bright spot when she hit a double in the fifth and later scored. She also added a two run single in the sixth to finish off her team’s scoring effort.
The win puts the Racers just one more victory from the .500 mark with one game left against the Netherlands Olympic team on Saturday night.
Contact the Racers’ ticket office at (330) 376-8188 for ticket information.