Akron, Ohio - The Akron Racers struck last in a back and forth battle to gain victory for the second straight night over the Washington Glory. Last night, it was Tracee McCoy who won the game for the Racers with a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Tonight it was Veronica Wootson who stepped up with one out and hit a walk off laser over the left field fence to win the game 5-4 in the second extra inning. The home run was Wootson's seventh, good enough to tie her for fourth in the NPF in home runs.
The Glory (26-9) struck right away in the top of the first inning when Amber Jackson hit her league best eleventh home run to left field with two out and nobody on base.
The 1-0 lead wouldn't last long as Akron (18-9) retaliated with two runs in the home half of the second inning. Kellie Middleton started the inning with an infield single. Middleton stole second base, and when the throw from Glory catcher Callie Piper sailed into ceterfield Middleton advanced to third. A pitch later a wild pitch by starter Desiree Serrano brought Middleton home. After Middleton scored, Caitlin Benyi found a pitch she liked and crushed it for a home run to right centerfield, giving the Racers their first lead at 2-1.
That is how the score would stay until the top of the fourth when Jackson led off with a bunt single. Jackson scored her second run of the game two batters later on an RBI single by former Racer Oli Keohohou to tie the game at two.
Akron would move ahead again in the bottom of the fourth when Caitlin Benyi scored her second run of the game on an RBI single to right by Jenn Poore. Benyi reached base earlier in the inning on her second hit of the night, a double to right centerfield with one out.
The Racers added what seemed to be an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth. Wootson got her first of three hits to lead off the inning with a triple to centerfield, that ended Glory starter Desiree Serrano's day.
Serrano received a no decision going four innings allowing four runs on seven hits and no walks, while striking out a pair.
Wootson scored on the very next batter when Norelle Dickson hit an RBI single down the leftfield line.
The lead would not be enough for the Racers though as the wheels almost came off in the top of the seventh inning. Washington lead off hitter Nicole Barber reached on a fielder's choice with one out. A groundout by Catalina Morris and a wild pitch put Barber on third base with two outs. Barber scored when Nichole Thompson hit a ground ball to shortstop that Kristin Johnson didn't realize she caught and by the time she found the ball Thompson was on first. The error cut the Akron lead in half to 4-3 and knocked starter Radara McHugh from the game with one out remaining.
McHugh ended the day with a no decision giving up four runs, two earned, on six hits and four walks, while striking out four in six and two thirds innings pitched.
Consecutive walks to the next two batters by reliever Jamee Juarez brought Jackson in from third base for her third run of the game, and a blown save for Juarez.
The Racers had a chance to win it in the bottom of the seventh when with one out Wootson got an infield single. Dickson followed that up with a single to centerfield that was misplayed by Morris allowing Wootson to third and Dickson to second with one out. An intentional walk to Iyhia McMichael loaded the bases still with one out. However, strikeouts to the next two batters by Glory pitcher Sarah Pauly ended the rally.
Juarez (10-4) got the win for the Racers throwing two and a third innings of no hit softball while walking three.
Pauly (11-6) got the loss for the Glory giving up one run on four hits, including Wootson's home run, in four and a third innings pitched.
The Racers look to win the series against the NPF's top team tomorrow when they meet for the final time in the regular season at 12:05 P.M.
For ticket information call the Akron Racers at (330) 376-8188.