The Akron Racers (11-17) claimed victory over the USSSA Florida Pride (16-11) Sunday after Aja Paculba (.305) hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Racers and extra inning victory, 4-2.
The Racers made their first mark in the second inning when Nicole Trimboli (.258) hit a double, bringing Kaylyn Castillo home for a run. The run was the first time all series the Racers scored first. Paculba followed that with a single also bringing in an RBI putting the score at 2-0.
The Pride quickly answered back in the third inning with two runs on three hits. Florida Pride’s Jessica Mendoza ended the inning when she tried to steal third, putting herself in a pickle against Racers’ third baseman Kelley Montalvo, second baseman Nicole Pauly and short stop Aja Paculba. It took four throws back and forth for the out.
In the top of the fourth, Castillo caught Kelsey Bruder stealing on two outs and threw to Paculba on second base to end the inning, showing some flashy defensive skills from behind the plate.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, with one runner on first, Trimboli got hit in the back of the helmet as the catcher Megan Willis tried to throw to second base with Castillo stealing. Castillo ended up stealing third to put a runner in scoring position. The inning ended, however, when Cat Osterman struck out Trimboli for the final out.
Florida Pride’s Kristyn Sandberg had a rough night as she was hit by two hit-by-pitches and had a strike out, but ended well with a double in the eighth inning. Jamee Juarez pinch ran for Sandberg, and as Willis hit a fly out to left field, she left the base early and caused for the third out of the eighth inning.
Lisa Norris pitched all nine innings against the Pride with seven strikeouts, three walks and two runs on six hits.
The leader in the league for most strikeouts, Cat Osterman pitched all nine innings for the Pride with eight strikeouts, three walks and four runs on five hits.
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