AKRON, Ohio (July 1, 2010) – The Akron Racers lifted the extra-inning curse, downing the USSSA Pride, 5-4 in 10 innings at Firestone Stadium this evening.
Prior to tonight, the Racers (9-4) had suffered three extra-inning defeats but avoided the fourth thanks to a Katie Burkhart (2-1) bases-loaded wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th to earn the first win in extra frames of the campaign. Akron now moves into a tie atop the NPF Standings with the USSSA Pride (9-4) who saw a seven-game win streak come to an end.
Lisa Norris (6-0) worked 10 frames, surrendering four runs (three earned) on six hits while striking out 13 to earn the win. Burkhart gave up five runs—all earned, on seven hits, issuing nine walks to take the loss in nine innings.
All but one run in today’s contest came courtesy of the long ball. The bat of Racers’ first baseman Samantha Ricketts continued to pay dividends for the home club as she single-handled put the Racers ahead in the bottom of the first on her third home run of the season, a three-run blast to right field. Crystl Bustos walked and Jamee Juarez singled up the middle prior to the shot from Ricketts to give Akron the early edge.
After five innings of shutout softball, Pride catcher Megan Willis played the role of spoiler when she knotted the game up atop the seventh on a two-out three run homer.
The teams traded runs in the ninth after a costly error on second baseman Courtney Bures enabled Charlotte Morgan to reach second who scored on Kristin Schnake’s sacrifice fly to put the Pride ahead, 4-3.
With two away in the bottom of the ninth and Lisa Modglin on second, Crystl Bustos drove a two-out double to the gap in right center to tie the game up at 4-all.
In the 10th, with the international tiebreaker rule in effect, back-to-back fielder’s choices and a runner leaving early kept the Pride off the scoreboard. Meanwhile, Juarez stole third base and saw Ricketts and Clare Burnum pick up walks to load the bases before Burkhart’s wild pitch let Juarez score.
Bustos finished a perfect 3-for-3 with a pair of walks to lead the Racers while Callahan finished 3-for-4 with a run scored for the Pride.
The five-game series resumes tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. EST. To follow the series from home, you can catch the action live on MLB.com or stream live stats via www.pointstreak.com.
About USSSA Florida Pride:
The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!