When Kristina Thorson has been handed the ball this season, she has delivered for her new team.
With the Racers (20-17) clinging to second place over the Chicago Bandits, Thorson (9-3) continued to display her consistency, helping the Racers prevail 4-2 and remain ahead of Chicago for the second seed in the NPF standings.
Thorson tossed a complete game, allowing five hits, two unearned runs and striking out eight Diamonds.
“I felt good, relaxed the entire game,” Thorson said. “The whole team played well tonight.
“We were scoring, but most of our runs were consecutive hits and our defense played well.”
Thorson played previously with the Bandits and now finds herself and her teammates battling them for the second spot in the NPF playoff seeding. This series is just another step to achieving their goal of winning a championship.
“It gives us home field advantage the first game, and it’s nice to beat up on the Bandits because when I was there we always beat up on the Racers, so it does matter to us [to get the second seed].
“I was really excited, I never heard a bad thing about the organization, so I was really excited for the opportunity to come over here and play. It’s just a great place to play -- I love it here.”
The Racers struck first blood in the bottom of the first to give Thorson an early lead. Sharonda McDonald hit a line-drive single up the middle over pitcher Danielle Spaulding’s (2-6) glove. McDonald swiped second during Nicole Trimboli’s at-bat and advanced to third on Trimboli’s fly out to center. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded, Megan Bush grounded out to the second baseman Kristin Schnake to score McDonald and make it 1-0 Racers.
Akron would get its second run off the bat of Sam Marder, who crushed her team-leading seventh home run on the season over the left center field fence with two outs in the bottom of the third.
The Racers added a third run in the bottom of the fourth following a Kelley Montalvo double to left that plated Taylor Schlopy, who previously beat out a slow grounder to second.
Marder came through with another hit in the fifth inning after center fielder Jessica Bachkora’s throwing error allowed Trimboli to score.
The Diamonds would get two runs on the board that was ignited by a dropped ball in right by McDonald. The threat ended after Thorson got Kristin Schnake to pop out to short. The Racers and Diamonds will play the second game of this final series Friday night at 7:05 p.m. at Firestone Stadium.