Norris Leads Racers to Double Header Sweep of Pride
AKRON, Ohio - The Racers (20-12) relied heavily upon pitcher Lisa Norris and the rookie came through for her team earning victories in both games of Thursday's double header. Norris started the evening by throwing a complete game shutout in the first game. The former Tar Heel then came in with runners on first and second with nobody out in the top of the sixth inning of game two, Norris finished the inning, and then the next two, allowing only an inherited run to score on an error.
In total, Norris (8-4) pitched ten innings without allowing a run against her. The Racer pitcher allowed only four hits on the day along with three walks. She also struck out ten Pride batters. When the night was over Norris tallied 192 pitches thrown while commanding the circle.
Sari-Jane Jenkins provided Norris with all the run support she would need in game one, the outfielder went 3-3 with a home run and two RBIs. With a 1-0 Akron lead, Jenkins led of the bottom of the fifth inning with a line drive home run to right field. The round tripper was Jenkins first of her professional career. Jenkins continued to lead the Racer offense all day going 5-7 with a home run, two runs and two RBIs between the two games.
In the sixth inning, lead off hitter Lisa Modglin began the inning with a base hit left field and stole second base. Jackie Pasquerella followed Modglin with a bunt down the first base line that placed runners on the corners. Next, the Pride implemented a strategy they would use all day with mixed results, they intentionally walked Crystl Bustos to load the bases. It was one of six walks Bustos drew on the day (five intentional). Four of the six walks loaded the bases as the Pride showed they wanted to face anyone, but Bustos. In this case it didn't work out as the Pride had planned. After a passed ball brought Modglin home, Jenkins drove Pasquerella in with an RBI single to center field.
Sarah Pauly (6-5) earned the loss in the first game for the Pride. The starter threw all six innings, but allowed four runs, on ten hits and seven walks, while striking out three Racers.
Game two began with a lot of offensive action as Kelly Kretschman led off in the top of the first inning with a bunt single for the Pride. Breanne Javier later drove Kretschman in with a single back up the middle. The Pride broke through on the scoreboard and grabbed their first lead of the day, 1-0.
The Racers had a quick answer for the Pride and battled back with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Modglin began in inning with a double to left-center field. Jenkins picked up her fourth straight hit of the day with an infield single that put runners on the corners. Pride pitcher Desiree Serrano walked Crystl Bustos to load the bases and two batters later Jenny Topping lined a two run single to center field.
The Racers would maintain the 2-1 lead as Serrano and Racer relief pitcher Kate Robinson both kept their opponents bats in check through the middle innings. That would change in the top of the sixth when Schnake led off with a bunt hit back to Robinson. Amber Jackson then laced a single to right field to knock Robinson from the game. The Racers would turn to Norris to try and help them get out of the jam. Norris started her second appearance of the day by plunking Jessica Dignon. She then got pinch hitter Oli Keohohou to strike out for the first out with the bases loaded. LaDonia Hughes then hit a sharp bouncer to Pasquerella at third for the Racers. Pasquerella leaped up to grab the ball and then threw home, but catcher Kristen Butler couldn't handle the hard throw and Schnake scored the game tying run. The run was unearned as Butler was charged with an error on the play.
That is where the score remained until the bottom of the eighth inning. Modglin led off the inning with a base hit and a steal of second base. Pasquerella came up later in the inning and drove Modglin home with a single to left field.
Serrano (0-7) picked up the loss for the Pride allowing three runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out seven.
The Racers and Pride will meet up again at Firestone Stadium Friday evening at 7:05 PM. For ticket information contact the Racers ticket office at 330-376-8188 or purchase your tickets online at www.akronracers.org