GiOnna DiSalvatore drove home five runs to lead the Florida USSSA Pride to a 7-5 National Pro Fastpitch win over the Akron Racers on Saturday night at Firestone Stadium.
The former UCLA All-American had a two-run single in the third, an RBI single in the fourth and a two-run homer in the sixth as the Pride (14-5) won their seventh straight game.
Despite a two-run homer by first baseman Charlotte Morgan, the Racers (6-12) dropped their sixth game in a row.
Following a 90-minute rain delay, which came with a 3-3 score in the bottom of the third inning, the Pride got four runs against Racers relief pitcher Ivy Renfroe (1-4).
DiSalvatore singled home Natasha Watley to make it 4-3. The NPF’s second-leading hitter, Ashley Charters (.381) belted a solo home run to lead off the sixth, running the score to 5-3. DiSalvatore then tacked on a two-run homer, and the Pride led 7-3.
The Racers scored an unearned run in the bottom half of the sixth and seventh innings.
Morgan, a former University of Alabama star and two-time Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, crushed a two-run blast to pull the Racers even at 3-3 before rain halted play.
Coming off a 1-0 loss to the Pride on Friday in Maumee, Ohio, the Racers were searching for an offensive spark when Morgan delivered her third homer of the season.
As rain started to fall in the bottom of third inning, Pride pitcher Jordan Taylor asked for time to dry her pitching hand and Morgan deposited her next pitch — a two-out, 3-2 offering — well beyond the left-center field fence to tie the score. Morgan’s blast also scored right fielder Ayumi Karino, who had walked to start the inning. Akron designated player Sam Marder came to the plate, but the game was halted and the tarp brought onto the diamond at 8:10 p.m.
The Racers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on Tess Sito’s RBI single to left. Marder walked and third baseman Kelley Montalvo lined a single to left to put runners on first and second with one out. Aja Paculba came on to run for Marder and scored on Sito’s two-strike hit.
The Pride answered with three runs in the top of the third. After three consecutive hits — none of which traveled past the pitching rubber — loaded the bases against Akron starter Brittany Mack, Pride first baseman DiSalvatore ripped a two-run single to center. Left fielder Kelsey Bruder’s sacrifice fly scored former Racer Kelly Kretschman and made it 3-1.
Taylor, Blaire Luna and Chelsea Thomas all pitched for the Pride. Luna earned the win.