The Racers opened the game with a bang but couldn’t keep the offense going, losing to the USSSA Pride 4-2 at Firestone Stadium in a game that was shortened to five innings due to rain and lightning.
In the bottom of the first inning, first baseman Charlotte Morgan belted a towering home run that cleared the left-field fence by roughly 50 feet, giving the Racers a 1-0 lead.
Left fielder Brianna Cherry was then hit by a pitch and advanced to third on a walk and a wild pitch. Third baseman Kelley Montalvo then singled her home by beating out a hit to the shortstop to make it 2-0.
It was Morgan’s first home run of the season after she missed significant time with a dislocated right shoulder and torn labrum sustained in the second game of the season.
“I looked at it and said, ‘Hey, I finally got one,’ ” Morgan said. “That really felt good.”
Morgan finding her power stroke is a great sign for the Racers, who fell to 11-16 and are now nine games back of the Pride.
The Racers aren’t in any danger of falling to last place in the league, but catching up to the Pride and the Chicago Bandits (17-9) will require Morgan’s bat to find its old prowess.
Hitting behind Nerissa Myers, who leads the team with six home runs, creates the kind of punch Akron needs.
“She can bunt, she slaps, she can hit,” Morgan said of Myers. “She does a great job ahead of me of either getting them in or if she gets on, I can get her in. I’m a power hitter; it’s something they look for us to do.”
USSSA, which owns the best record in the league at 20-7, stormed back in the top of the second inning following an hour-long rain delay.
With a runner on, Madison Shipman tied the game with a left-field home run of her own.
Two innings later, centerfielder Caitlin Lowe drove in two more runs with a double to left field, making it 4-2.
After the fifth inning, the rain and lightning returned to bring another delay and eventually, the game’s early finish.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/abj.sports.