Akron, Ohio - In a series claimed to be "the Racers against the World", a thrilling seventh inning rally gave round one to Akron with a final score of 6-5.
Akron (11-6) entered the bottom of the seventh down 5-4 to Team China, but the Racer bats lit up, and capped off by a Kellie Middleton single, made Akron victorious.
Third baseman Norrelle Dickson started the inning off with her second single of the
night. Iyhia McMichael followed with a perfect bunt that fell motionless on the third baseline. Kristen Butler advanced both Dickson and McMichael into scoring
position with a fly ball into the right field corner. With one out and runners on second and third, Kellie Middleton (3-4) recorded the game winner, a two RBI single placed perfectly over the head of shortstop, Li Chun Xia.
Going into the seventh, Zhou Lin who came on in the second had pitched four and a third innings giving up only one hit and striking out three in relief before giving
up the game winning rally.
The Racers looked like they weren't even going to need the bottom of the seventh
until Team China created a rally of their own. Down 4-2 coming into the final
inning, Team China left fielder Li Tang hit a rocket line drive to center at McMichael who fumbled the catch allowing Tang to get to third, to start the inning.
Xia Qing was hit by a pitch to place runners on the corners with nobody out.
The hit batter brought an end to starter Radara McHugh's night. She went six official innings giving up 4 runs, 3 earned, on seven hits. Reliever Jamee Juarez came in and gave up an RBI hit to the first batter she faced, tying the game. A
single by second baseman Wu Di drove in the final run for Team China.
Juarez (7-2) got the win after an inning of work giving up a run on two hits.
The beginning of the game belonged to the Racers as Veronica Wootson crushed a home run to left field in both of her first two at-bats. The home runs tied her for most in the NPF with teammate McMichael and former Racer Sara Larquier with 5.
An RBI double by Middleton plated McMichael in the first inning and Ianeta Le'i
walked, stole second base and scored on a wild pitch in the second, along with
Wootson's dingers, gave the Racers a 4-0 lead after two innings.
The win was a sign of good things as it marked the seventh win at home for the
Racers. With a 7-2 record in Firestone Stadium this season and a sixteen game
homestand that began Thursday night the Racers hope to climb back into control of the NPF race.
The Racers continue their four game series with Team China tomorrow in game two with 7:05 start time. The gates open at 5:00 and their will be Chinese vendors and a martial arts demonstration prior to the game to celebrate the Asian Festival.
For ticket information to this series or any other home series, please contact the
Racers at (330)376-8188.