The Akron Racers’ 1-0 victory at home over the NY/NJ Comets on Thursday rests on the arm of Lisa Norris and the legs of Brianna Turang.
Turang helped manufacture a run in the first inning, leading off the game with a perfectly placed bunt for a single and then stealing second.
The Racers (7-13) caught a bit of a break when the Comets (3-18) left fielder lost a fly ball in the sun to allow Turang to advance to third, but she again used her speed to score on a shallow sacrifice fly to center field.
“She just puts so much pressure on the defense,” Racers manager Ryan Phillips said.
“She lays down a terrific bunt to start the inning, we were able to move her over without having to sacrifice the out and then she takes advantage of the outfielder moving to her left on a shallow fly. Definitely huge for us.”
The one run was all pitcher Lisa Norris needed. Norris shut out the Comets, allowing four hits and three walks. She struck out five.
She improved to 4-3 with the win and leads the Racers in innings pitched, strikeouts and ERA.
“She’s lights out,” Phillips said. ‘‘Every time she steps in the circle you know what you’re going to get. She’s going to fill the zone up, keep teams off balance and give us a chance to win every game she’s in.”
Norris received some help from her infield defense, especially in the later innings.
The fifth inning featured three hard ground balls to the right side of the infield, none of which got through the Racers’ defense.
First baseman Charlotte Morgan made a nice scoop on a ball down the line to record the first out.
Then second baseman Tess Sito went deep in the hole to her left to field a ground ball to get the second out.
Morgan made a diving play to record the third out and close the inning.
The next inning, after the leadoff batter singled, third baseman Brigette Del Ponte made a nice play moving to her left on a hard ground ball to cut off the lead runner at second base.
Despite recording only two hits, the Racers made hard contact often and Phillips was not disappointed with his team’s performance at the plate.
The Racers seemed to be on the cusp of having a big day at the plate as several fly balls fell just feet short of the wall in left field.
“We were just barely missing balls all day,” Phillips said. “The two hits really didn’t show our production at the plate.”
The Racers will continue the four-game weekend homestand with the Comets at 7:05 tonight.