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Montalvo’s Walk-Off Edges Diamonds, 9-8
Racers’ Rookie Singles To Gives Akron Second-Straight Win
AKRON, Ohio (July 30, 2010) – The Tennessee Diamonds refused to go quietly tonight, scoring three runs atop the seventh to tie the contest but Racers’ rookie Kelley Montalvo delivered the all-important RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to give Akron the 9-8 victory at Firestone Stadium.
Pinch hitter Trena Peel led off the seventh by roping a single into left field then advanced to second on a Diamond error. With one out, Montalvo drove the first pitch she saw to right field to plate Peel and give Akron it’s second straight win over the Diamonds.
Akron (19-14) pounded out 13 hits and capitalized on three Diamond errors to climb back into second place above the USSSA Pride in the National Pro Fastpitch standings while the Diamonds drop to 8-25 with tonight’s loss.
Jamee Juarez (6-7) started and earned the win in 5.1 innings, giving up four runs—only two of them earned, on four hits while striking out three tonight. The hurler also helped her cause at the plate, finishing 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored. Kristin Erb (0-7) suffered the Diamond loss in 3.2 innings of relief work, surrendering four runs (two earned) on seven hits, fanning two batters.
The Diamonds scored first and made it known early that they would not go down without a fight. Loryn Johnson gave the Diamonds the initial 1-0 lead atop the second on her fourth homer of the season on a two-out line drive shot to center.
In the home half of the second, Akron pounded out four hits and took advantage of one Diamond error to establish a comfortable 5-1 advantage. Micaela Minner reached on a one-out error before Juarez doubled to right and Montalvo walked to load the bases. Mackenzie Vandergeest delivered, driving a two-RBI double to left center before starter Megan Gibson recorded a strikeout. Lisa Modglin kept the inning alive, driving in two runs on a sharp single through the right side. Akron’s final run came next as Jess Valis plated deposited a RBI single in left.
After a scoreless third, Diamonds’ second baseman Chelsie Mesa went yard with her first of two homers in the game on a convincing shot to right field, making it a 5-2 ballgame atop the fourth.
The back-and-forth affair continued in the bottom half as Jackie Pasquerella and Modglin led off with back-to-back infield singles. Valis capitalized on another Diamond throwing error, moving up to second as Pasquerella trotted home and Modglin moved up to third. Leftfielder Shanel Scott showed off some glove work in right with a big league play on a diving catch in the left center gap to limit Sam Ricketts to a sac-fly RBI, doubling up Valis at second as the Racers extended the lead, 7-2.
The Diamonds made things interesting in the fifth when they plated a pair of runs on a hit and an error. Jenna Rhodes notched an infield single before Juarez issued Scott a walk to put a pair on with one out. Chelsea Spencer would then reach second on an error as Rhodes to scamper home. DeDe Justice drove in Scott on a deep sac-fly to center but Juarez would retire the side getting Gibson to foul out, trimming Akron’s lead to 7-4.
The Racers would recover a run in the bottom of the stanza when Vandergeest drove in battery mate Juarez on a single up the middle to put the Racers ahead 8-4.
With Taryne Mowatt relieving Juarez atop the sixth, Mesa welcomed her to the game with a first pitch solo home run to right—her second of the contest, cutting Akron’s lead to three (8-5). Mowatt recovered nicely though, getting the next batter to fly out before setting the next two down on strikeouts to limit the damage to just a run.
Much to Akron’s dismay in the seventh, the Diamonds completed the comeback. Rhodes drove a lead off single to center and Spencer earned a one-out walk to set the stage for Justice’s three-run bomb to right center, tying it up at 8-all.
The two teams battle in game three of five tomorrow on Saturday, July 31 at 7:35 p.m. EST. Fans can follow along from home by watching live on MLB.com with a $19.95 season-long subscription or live stats via www.pointstreak.com.