Rebellion can’t hold lead against Akron

July 22, 2014

It was nice while it lasted – one game – but the Rebellion win streak ended Tuesday at Consol Energy Park, thanks to one of its nemesis on the Akron Racers, Nerissa Myers.

Myers has four hits and four RBI in the last two meetings but in last night’s game she unleashed another facet of her game that hurt the Rebellion: her fielding.

Myers also drove in a run with a single in a three-run seventh inning that gave the Racers a 6-3 victory.

The Rebellion were trying to win back-to-back games for the first time since the second and third games of the National Pro Fastpitch softball league season: 3-2 and 6-3 victories over the first-place USSSA Pride.

Instead, the Rebellion fell to 6-24 and host a strong Chicago Bandits team in a six-game series beginning Thursday night. The games on Monday and Tuesday will be televised by CBS Sports Network.

“I enjoy hitting against any opponent,” said Myers, who leads the NPF in runs (24), RBI (27) and is tied for first in home runs with seven. “I have a different approach to each pitcher.”

Myers drove in what turned out to be the game-winning run in the seventh with a single up the middle that brought home right fielder Aykumi Karino from third base. Karino opened the inning by hitting a ground ball to shortstop Bianca Mejia, who threw it past first baseman Breezy Hamilton. Karino made it all the way to third on the error.

Dallas Escobedo, who relieved starter Anna Miller in the fifth, walked DH Jessica Garcia and the two advanced to second and third on a passed ball and stolen base. Angel Bunner relieved Escobedo one out later but gave up two runs on a single by centerfielder Taylor Schlopy that made it 6-3.

“One mistake really cost us there,” said Rebellion manager Stacey Rice of the error.

Akron reached Miller for a run in the first when Karino doubled and came home on a single by Garcia.

But DH Courtney Liddle put the Rebellion ahead, 2-1, in the bottom of the first when she clobbered a ball over the center field fence for a home run, her fifth of the season, after Mejia walked. It landed approximately 245 feet from home plate.

The score stayed that way until the fourth inning, when first baseman Breezy Hamilton sent a shot over the fence just inside the left field foul pole to make it 3-1.

“I thought it was a foul ball,” said Hamilton. “I almost didn’t run. It looks like we’re starting to figure it out. We’re more comfortable. We’re a young rookie team, and we’re coming together.”

That makes three home runs in the past two games for the Rebellion.

“We’re hitting the ball,” Rice said. “A couple hits here and there, and the game turns out differently. That’s how you win and that’s why you lose.”

Akron tied the game 3-3 with two runs in the fifth inning. Catcher Haley Outon walked and came around to score on a passed ball and Myers drove in a run with a single to right field.

Myers took a run away from the Rebellion with her glove in the second inning. With Hamilton on third with two outs, Brittney Lindley hit a looper over the head and to the right of Myers. She turned and raced back, then made a diving catch near the third base line.

“It was one of the best catches I’ve had thus far,” she said. “I made a good jump on it. I knew it would be close.”


Attendance was 1,298. … Second baseman Ashley Thomas had three hits for Akron and Hamilton had two for the Rebellion. … Escobedo, the No. 1 pick in the draft, saw her ERA jump to 4.55 after allowing three runs in 1 2/3 innings.

Joe Tuscano has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1980. He has covered all sports for the newspaper, including the Steelers, Pirates, Pitt football, local college football and wrestling. He has worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Jeannette News-Dispatch and North Hills Record. He graduated from Duquesne University in 1980.

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