Racers are Headed to Kimberly with Shutout of Ice
Akron, Ohio - After giving up one hit and a walk in five innings of work Thursday night, Alicia Hollowell returned to the circle for the Racers (26-17) Saturday and got even closer to perfection. Hollowell's performance guided Akron to a 2-0 victory that clinched Akron the second seed in the NPF playoffs.
Hollowell (6-5) pitched the full seven innings Saturday night and gave up only one hit. The sole blemish on Hollowell's night belonged to Becky Manson who laid down a bunt that hit the ground spinning and left third baseman Norelle Dickson without a way to field the ball.
That was how the Ice led off the top of the second inning. After the bunt hit, Hollowell proceeded to set down the final 18 batters. The Racer pitcher had Michigan baffled all night and barely let them make contact; striking out ten batters.
Michigan starter Keli Harrell pitched well enough to win most ball games, but just not tonight against Hollowell. Harrell gave up only three hits on the night, but luckily for the Racers two of those hits came in the same inning.
In the bottom of the third inning, the game was scoreless when Harrell surrendered a lead off walk to Jamee Juarez. The next batter was Ianeta Le'i who laid down a perfect bunt and hustled down to first to beat out a base hit.
Kristin Johnson stepped up with two on and nobody out and hit a soft liner that blooped over the firstbaseman's out stretched glove, but second baseman Charity Butler scooped the ball off the ground and stepped on first to retire Johnson. The play proved important though as it advanced Juarez to third and Le'i to second.
After a walk to Norrelle Dickson loaded the bases, second baseman Veronica Wootson smashed a ball into the left centerfield gap that brought in Juarez from third and Le'i raced home from second.to make the score 2-0.
The single gave the newly announced All-NPF team member, Wootson, her seventh game winning hit of the season, and would be all the Racers would need.
Harrell did not allow another hit the rest of the night and ended the day going six innings while allowing two runs on three hits and three walks.
In a ceremony prior to the game, Akron General Manager Joey Arrietta announced the Racers had three players that were honored with a spot on the All-NPF team. Catcher Kristen Butler and third baseman Norelle Dickson joined Wootson on the team.
The Racers wind up their regular season with one final game Sunday afternoon before leaving for Kimberly, Wisconsin and the NPF playoffs.
Game time is at 12:05 p.m. and the game will be shown on tape delay on Sports Time Ohio. For ticket information contact the Akron Racers ticket office at (330)376-8188.