Akron, Ohio - In a game showcasing the NPF's top two teams going into Wednesday, the Washington Glory (26-7) utilized a sixth-inning, two out rally to defeat the Racers 3-2.
Racer (16-9) starter Radara McHugh was cruising giving up only one hit in her first five innings of work. Then the rally began in the top of the sixth, and not without its bit of controversy. With one out, Glory leadoff hitter Catalina Morris laid down a bunt and beat it down to first. However, the play drew complaints from McHugh, catcher Jenn Poore and Akron manager Shonda Stanton as the ball appeared to hit Morris as she ran by.
With Morris on first, right fielder Nicole Barber laid down a sacrifice that moved the runner to second with two outs. Two batters later Nicole Thompson drove a single to centerfield plating Morris to tie the game at one. The deciding blow was delivered two batters later when former Racer Sara Larquier hit a single to right field scoring both Thompson and Amber Jackson to give the Glory a 3-1 lead.
The sixth inning proved costly as the Racers just could not get the final out. Allowing four batters to reach base with two outs.
McHugh (7-4) picked up the loss going the full seven innings allowing three runs on four hits, while walking and striking out five.
The Racers striked first breaking the scoreless pitcher's duel in the bottom of the fourth inning when catcher Jenn Poore drove a fly ball to left field that scored Kristen Butler on the sacrifice.
The run came after Akron Shortstop Kristin Johnson stopped a possible rally in the visitor's half of the fourth. With a runner on first, Thompson hit a hard grounder up the middle that Johnson fielded and stepped on second. She proceed to throw to first to complete the double play.
Washington came up with a big defensive play of their own in the home half of the fifth to stop the Racers from scoring when Tracee McCoy hit a towering fly ball to left field that looked to be going over the fence, but LaDonia Hughes jumped up and caught the ball before crashing through the fence.
The Racers tried one last time to strike back in the bottom of the seventh. First baseman Caitlin Benyi smashed a double to right field to start the inning. The hit knocked starter Desiree Serrano out of the game. Tracee McCoy got a base hit of her own to put runners on the corners a couple of batters later. Washington catcher Callie Piper let a pitch get away to the backstop allowing Benyi to score with two outs and cutting the lead to 3-2. A walk to third baseman Norrelle Dickson put runners on the corners for Iyhia McMichael. However, it was not to be the Racer's night as a 1-2 pitch was called for strike three just on the outside corner.
Serrano (15-3) picked up the win going six innings allowing two runs, one earned, on four hits and a pair of walks and strikeouts. Meanwhile, Sarah Pauly picked up her second save of the season for the Glory.
The loss drops the Racers into third place behind Washington and the Rockford Thunder. The Racers try for a little payback Thursday night at 7:05 at Firestone Stadium. For ticket information contact the Akron Racer ticket office at (330)376-8188.