Elgin – Down 3-0 in the top of the sixth and with the bases juiced, Bandits’ designated player Kristie Fox stepped up to the plate, battling her way through multiple pitches until she struck out looking on a pitch that tip-toed the outside corner of the plate, ending the Bandits’ (3-4) threat.
The hits piled up for 14 between the two teams, but Akron took advantage of theirs, defeating the Bandits 3-0.
The Akron Racers (1-2) jumped out to an early lead in the top of the third inning in Sunday’s game when shortstop Angelena Mexicano scorched a double to left-centerfield off Bandits starter Kristina Thorson (0-3), putting the Racers on top of the Bandits 2-0.
“It felt good, my first hit of the season so far,” said Mexicano. “It feels great to contribute to the team win and we did well throughout the whole game. The past games, with runners in scoring position, I haven’t come through, but I knew I needed to step up this game, I waited for my pitch and saw the ball really well this game.”
Thorson stepped into the circled for the Bandits and faced stiff resilience from the start as Akron leadoff hitter Veronica Wootson fought her way to nine pitches, before lining out to Stacy May at third. Radara McHugh (1-1) took the mound for the Racers remaining solid with a shutout through five innings, giving up only five hits by the Bandits.
In the second Thorson was solid, striking out the side – making quick work of the Racers. Following Mexicano’s two RBI double n the third, and with first base open, Thorson intentionally walked Kristen Butler to set-up the double play opportunity. With two down, two on, Thorson got Akron catcher Shannon Doepking to harmlessly ground out, ending the inning down 2-0.
“I lost focus a little bit, for a couple batters. You lose focus, make mistakes and runners get on,” said Thorson. “I came out a lot more aggressive today and that helped a lot. Just need to get those ground balls and keep doing what I’m doing.”
Flashy glove work was displayed by both teams in the fifth inning when Chicago’s Aileen Morales robbed Akron of a single with a diving stop at second base, and Akron’s India Chiles flashed the leather as she made a diving catch on a shallow fly to left to end the bottom half of the inning.
Kim Hamilton padded the scoreboard for the Racers in the top of the sixth when she darted home from third on a suicide squeeze when Kellie Middleton bunted down the leftfield line, putting Akron up 3-0.
Hot hitting Folden continued her luck, batting 2-for-2 today, making her 6-for-9 (.667) with two homeruns and five RBIs in the home stand thus far.