Pauly did not want a cracker, just a base hit.

Nicole Pauly's bases-loaded RBI single with two out in the bottom of the seventh gave the Racers a 3-2 victory in the second game of doubleheader and a sweep of the Carolina Diamonds on Saturday night in a National Pro Fastpitch game at Akron’s Firestone Stadium.

The victory puts the Racers (13-18) within a half-game of the third-place Diamonds (13-17).

Pauly, who also had a double and scored a run, is well aware of the importance of this series.

“It is totally crucial,” Pauly said. “Hopefully from this double­header, we can carry it [momentum] the rest of the season. We are a team that feeds off our pitching.”

Second-game starter Erin Arevalo held the Diamonds to four hits and two walks in the complete-game victory, her first this season.

Brianna Hesson had an RBI single in the first inning, and Kaylyn Castillo’s fielder's choice grounder in the fourth drove in the other run for the Racers.

In the first game, the Racers beat the Diamonds 7-1, jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning. Sam Marder led off with a homer well over the left-field fence for a 1-0 lead.

After Nicole Trimboli flied out and Pauly singled through the hole at shortstop, Taylor Schlopy smashed a line drive that just cleared the left-field fence for a two-run homer and the Racers were up 3-0.

Kelley Montalvo followed with a triple down the right-field line and scored on Lisa Modglin's RBI single to left.

Pauly put the Racers up 5-0 in the third with an RBI single that scored pinch runner Jessica Garcia. Modglin, who was 4-for-4 in the second game and had five hits and a walk in the doubleheader, added an RBI single in the sixth.

Lisa Norris (4-6), the Racers' starter and winning pitcher, had a no-hitter going for the Racers until she gave up a solo homer by Amanda Kamekona with two out in the fifth inning. Norris was dominating, giving up just one more run and finishing with 10 strikeouts, one walk and hit one batter.

The teams play the finale of the four-game series at 2:05 p.m. today at Firestone Stadium.