FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Rita Chinyere
Racers Host Bandits in Final Homestand of Season
First Place Chicago Bandits Face Akron, August 6-8
AKRON, Ohio (August 5, 2010) – For the second time this season the National Pro Fastpitch’s top two teams will square off at Firestone Stadium as the Akron Racers host the first place Chicago Bandits in the final homestand of the 2010 campaign. The two will do battle for the sixth time this season, August 6-8 before the Racers begin a three-week road swing to end the year, culminating with the 2010 NPF Championship Series in Sulphur, La.
Racer Nation Roundup
The Racers took four out of five games against the Tennessee Diamonds to climb back into second place in the NPF standings. Akron earned a 2-1 victory in the series opener before claiming a 9-8 walk-off win in game two. Game three was no less dramatic as the Racers rallied to defeat the visitors 6-5. In Sunday’s doubleheader, Akron picked up the 3-2 extra-inning win before falling 10-3 in the series finale.
Lisa Norris (12-3) continued to strengthen her case for pitcher of the year last week, with a pair of impressive games, going up against Olympian Monica Abbott and twice coming out victorious. Norris, who leads the league with 12 wins, now ranks second with 105 strikeouts and ranks third with a 1.90 ERA. Jamee Juarez (6-8) now ranks fourth in the league with six wins and 73 strikeouts.
Offensively, Lisa Modglin (.274, 32 hits, 17 RBI) leads the team with 32 hits, 25 runs scored and is second on the team with 17 RBI after an impressive series against Tennessee. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Crystl Bustos (.315, 23 hits, nine RBI) owns the team’s best batting average with a .315 clip and has also picked up a team-high 14 walks since returning to play. Bustos has patrolled the outfield in both left and right this season, proving her bat isn’t the only vital piece of her game with some key defensive plays for the Racers. Sam Ricketts (.237, 23 hits, 18 RBI) still leads the team with 18 RBI and has also made a defensive transition now catching in addition to playing first base. Collectively, Akron enters the series with a .244 batting average and .309 on base percentage with 240 hits and 116 runs batted in which rank second and third respectively among the four teams.
A Quick Look at The Chicago Bandits
Arguably the league’s hottest team entering the series, the Bandits are winners of seven out of their last 10 games, four of which game against the USSSA Pride, adorned with several current and former members of the US National team. Chicago took the last four games of the series and narrowly missed sweeping the Pride, who thwarted a late Bandit comeback in game one to hang on for a 4-3 win.
The Bandits stack up nicely on both sides of the ball as the team enters with the highest team batting average (.270) and lowest team ERA (2.69). Three of the league’s top batters don the orange and black as Stacy May, Rachel Folden and Samantha Findlay interchangeably rank in the top three hitters in the league in batting average, hits, home runs and RBI.
May (.345, 41 hits, 24 RBI) leads the league and team with hits (41), home runs (11), batting average (.345) and is tied for the league with 24 RBI. Folden (.327, 32 hits, 23 RBI) is tied for the league lead with 24 RBI and ranks third with eight homers and a .327 batting average. Findlay (.286, 30 hits, 23 RBI) meanwhile is second with 10 home runs and 23 RBI.
In the circle Kristina Thorson (8-3) leads the team with wins which also rank third in the league while Jennie Finch, Jessica Sallinger and Nikki Nemitz each have five wins this season. Finch holds the second-lowest ERA in the league (1.00).
The Racers close out the regular season with road stints at the Tennessee Diamonds (Aug. 12-15) and USSSA Pride (Aug. 19-22) prior to heading to Sulphur, La. for playoffs (Aug. 26-29).
For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 330-376-8188 or visit www.akronracers.org.