Akron, Ohio - After three games of pitching and defense dominated softball the Washington Glory evened up the series with a back and forth offensive exhibition in the finale.
It took a three run rally in the top of the seventh sparked by Amber Jackson's second home run of the day to give the Glory the 9-7 victory over Akron.
The Glory set the tone for the game in the top of the first inning, when with two outs and a runner on first Amber Jackson launched her first home run to centerfield.
The very next batter was Nichole Thompson who repeated the show with a home run to centerfield herself.
The back to back home runs dug a 3-0 hole for the Racers before even coming to bat.
The deficit grew to 4-0 when former Racer Oli Keohohou hit a double to centerfield and scored on an error by shortstop Kristin Johnson in the visitor's half of the third inning.
The Racers showed just how much fight they had in them in their half of the third
when Kristen Butler crushed a home run over the centerfield fence with the bases
loaded. It was Butler's second grand slam of the season and tied the game at four.
The grand slam was set up when rightfielder Tracee McCoy singled to centerfield to start the inning. McCoy advanced to second on a groundball by Veronica Wootson that saw both runners reach safely. Third baseman Norrelle Dickson loaded the bases when she hit a single to shallow centerfield.
Washington starter Desiree Serrano would finish the inning before her day ended
going just three innings and giving up four runs on four hits and a walk.
The Glory retook the lead in the top of the fifth when Jessica Moore singled and was driven home by a base hit to right by Amber Jackson.
Racer starter Jamee Juarez walked the bases loaded with one out before being pulled on the next batter.
Reliever Radara McHugh did a good job as the stopper as she got a strike out and a fly to keep the score at 5-4.
The home half of the fifth saw the Racers grab their first lead of the game. With
one out, centerfielder Iyhia McMichael laid down a bunt to get on first base. The
next batter, Kristen Butler, was walked to put runners on the corners, as McMichael stole second and reached third on a bad throw by catcher Germaine Fairchild during Butler's at bat. After Butler advanced to second on a ground out by Caitlin Benyi, both runners scored on a blooper that fell in short left field between the Glory defense giving the Racers the 6-5 lead.
As they were all day, the lead was short lived. The Glory tied the game when a
triple by lead off hitter Nicole Barber scored LaDonia Hughes. On the very next
batter, Jessica Moore hit a groundball to Johnson at shortstop that the Racer
quickly threw home, and with a great block of the plate Barber was thrown out at
home to keep the game tied at six.
The Racers would once again take the lead in the bottom of the sixth on a home run to left centerfield by Veronica Wootson. The home run was Wootson's eighth of the year.
Things fell apart for McHugh in the top of the seventh as the inning started with
Jackson hitting her second hoime run of the day to tie the game at seven.
Jackson went 3-3 with two home runs and a walk while driving in four runs and scoring twice. Jackson now leads the NPF with 13 home runs and 34 RBI's.
McHugh (7-5) ended the day with the loss pitching two and two thirds innings pitched allowing four runs, three earned oin five hits.
After a walk to Thompson, Catalina Morris hit a squibber in front of home plate that
Butler threw into right field allowing Thompson to score the go ahead run. Morris
scored the final run on an RBI single by pinch hitter Jen Chamberlin.
Akron couldn't find an answer in the bottom of the seventh as the three, four and
five hitters went down in order to the pitching of Jen Mussillo.
Mussillo got her first decision of the day, a win, throwing four innings allowing
three runs on three hits and a walk.
There were four lead changes and three ties throughout the back and forth game that saw five home runs leave the park.
Today was the first game broadcast on SportstTime Ohio for the Racers, so if you
missed the action you can see it all tomorrow at 4:00 PM on Sports Time Ohio.
The Racers welcome the Philadelphia Force to town next Wednesday through Saturday for a four game series August 1-4.
For ticket information you can contact the Racers at (330) 376-8188.