Despite strong pitching performances by Radara McHugh, Kasey Whitehead and Nikki Myers, the Akron Racers narrowly dropped both ends of their doubleheader to the Texas Thunder by scores of 2-1 and 2-0 on Monday evening at Firestone Stadium. Each game went nine innings, marking the third and fourth consecutive times the Thunder and Racers have gone into extra frames in this series.
In game one, the Racers fell behind 1-0 early, but came back with a run of their own in the top of the fifth inning when second baseman Brandi Stuart knocked a two-out single and moved into scoring position on a single off the bat of shortstop Kristin Johnson. Center fielder Iyhia McMichael followed, forcing a Texas error to score Stuart all the way from second base. Stuart finished the game two-for-four with a run scored and was named the Custom Sports Imprints Player of the Game.
Akron was unable to hold on as Thunder center fielder Kristen Zaleski took advantage of a Racers defensive miscue, giving Texas the win with an unearned run.
McHugh took the loss for the Racers, despite giving up only one earned run in eight and one-third innings pitched. McHugh scattered nine hits and struck out six opposing batters as her record falls to 9-2 on the season.
Game two was a similar story as solid pitching by both teams kept the score tied at 0-0 through eight innings. The Thunder scored the games first run in the top of the ninth when Zaleski walked and stole second, and touched home on Lindsay Gardners RBI single.
Myers was tagged with the loss in game two, giving up one run on only two hits in four innings of relief of starter Kasey Whitehead. Whitehead threw five innings of shutout ball, surrendering only one hit after retiring the first ten batters she faced. Whitehead was named the Custom Sports Imprints Player of the Game for her performance.
The Racers and Thunder go head-to-head again tomorrow to battle for first place in National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) standings with a third doubleheader at Firestone Stadium with games beginning at 4:05 and 7:05 p.m. For more information, call 330-376-8188 or log on to www.akronracers.org
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