AKRON, Ohio Three clutch hits in the bottom of the seventh inning led the Racers to their first series victory of the new season. Right fielder Trena Peel hit a two out double to score second baseman Brandi Stuart, leading the Racers to a 4-3 win over the New England Riptide on Monday evening at Firestone Stadium.
In the second, catcher Jenn Poore led off the inning with a strong single down the left field line and stole second to put herself in scoring position for shortstop Kristin Johnson whose RBI single to center put the Racers in the lead 1-0.
Stuart took advantage of a New England error to reach base in the third inning and advance to second with her second steal of the season. Peels infield single moved Stuart ahead to third. Keeping in stride with the offensive strength of the Racers 1-2-3 batters, centerfielder Iyhia McMichael drove Stuart in with a deep sac fly to left field to bump the Racers lead to 2-0.
After being held scoreless by Olympic Gold Medallist pitcher Danielle Henderson, the Riptide broke through with an unearned run in the sixth when second baseman Nichole Thompson scored on a Racers throwing error.
The Riptide gained a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh after scoring two unearned runs.
Fighting for the series win in front of a spirited home crowd, first baseman Nicole Trimboli led off the bottom half of the frame with a powerful single to centerfield and advanced on a Johnson sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Custom Sports Imprints Player of the Game, Brandi Stuart hit a line shot RBI double to the leftfield corner to score Trimboli and tie the game at 3.
Reaffirming the strength of the top of Akrons order, Peel powered in the game winning run with yet another RBI double down the left field line, earning her the Summa Health Care System Play of the Game and her second RBI in as many days, giving the Racers the 4-3 victory.
Riptides pitcher, Jocelyn Forest pitched a complete game and allowed nine hits and four runs while striking out four to get the loss. Henderson allowed just four hits and no earned runs in a complete game effort, to grab her first win of the season.
The Akron Racers will host back-to-back series against the California Sunbirds and Arizona Heat at Firestone Stadium beginning Thursday, June 10 at 7:05 p.m. when former Racer, Amy Kyler returns to Akron as a member of the Sunbirds.
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Photo of Akron Racers pitcher, Danielle Henderson