Akron Racers Logo

Stay Connected

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Buy Tickets
Newsletter

Historical Timeline

1994-1998

1994-1998 HISTORICAL TIMELINE

January 19, 1994
Jay Cowles announces plan for 1995 Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) Tour. NFA received formal endorsements from MLB National Leagues President Len Coleman and former MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn.



August 11, 1994

 

Decatur Pride and California Commotion make NFA debut in Decatur, Ill.

 

 

June 15–July 13, 1995

Blaze and Storm visit 16 Midwest cities on 1995 WPF Tour. ESPN2 televises four games on tour. Carla Brookbank becomes the first Akron-area player to play on the tour as a member of the Blaze. The game featured an 11-inch ball, the pitching distance at 49 feet and base distances set at 75 feet.

 

July 2, 1995

Carla Brookbank wins her first game in a 5-3 decision over the Storm. She finishes the tour with a 2-2 record and a 1.66 ERA.

 

October 31, 1995

1996 WPF Amateur Draft held in Minneapolis, Minn. Oct. 8, 2996 WPF announces that it will begin play in May 1997. AT&T Wireless Services Inc. named title sponsor.

 

May 25, 1997

The WPF, despite placing Akron’s bid for a team on hold, the league sends the Carolina Diamonds and the Georgia Pride to visit Akron for the first Pro Exhibition game.

 

July 14, 1998

3,873 pack Akron, Ohio’s Firestone Stadium to watch Stars defeat Strips 8-1 in inaugural WPF All-Star Game. The fans would learn earlier that day that Akron would become the first Midwest franchise and begin play in the summer of 1999.

 

November 6, 1998

WPF Suspends operations of Wahoos in Orlando, FL. Contracted players assigned to Racers of Akron, Ohio. Akron obtains the rights to the Championship roster which included Crystl Bustos and Sarah Dawson – pitcher of the year.  Racers trade Pitcher Kaci Clark to obtain the rights to Akron native Carla Brookbank.

 

December 5, 1998

WPF changes name to Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). 1999 WPSL Senior Draft held in St. Petersburg, FL.

 

December 9, 1998

Racers participate in first-ever WPSL Draft. Traci Conrad, a First-Team All-American first baseman from Michigan, becomes the first pick of the Racers and the third overall selection. The Racers use the sixth pick overall (first round) to tap Liza Brown (P), from DePaul.

 

December 22, 1998

Michael Bastian, Centenary College Head Coach, was named the Racers first full-time head coach.

 

 

 

   exhibition.jpg

 

1999

1999 HISTORICAL TIMELINE

January 12, 1999
The City of Akron begins renovation of Firestone Stadium in anticipation of the Akron Racer’s first season of play in the WPSL.



March 31, 1999

The Akron Racers announced that WHLO (640-AM) will be the team’s official radio station and carry live broadcast of all 66 games in its inaugural season beginning May 13. Clint Scroggs would handle the play-by-play.

 

April 20, 1999

Racers announced they have signed six players including Carla Brookbank, an Akron native who starred at Kent, Amy Kyler, a Canal Fulton product who played at Cleveland State, Sarah Dawson, a pitcher, who posted a 30-3 record with the Orlando Wahoos in 1997, and Tobin Echo-Hawk, a WPF All-Star in 1998.

 

April 22, 1999

Racers GM, Joey Arrietta, signed slugger, Crystl Bustos, the 1998 WPF MVP, to play in Akron. Kellyn Tate, a former Wahoo teammate of Bustos also joins the Racers roster.

 

May 13, 1999

WPSL begins 66-game regular season. Unlike the two previous seasons, the 1999 campaign will not have a first or second half. In past seasons, the first half champion played the second half champion for the league title. This season, the top three teams advance to postseason competition. Akron played in five televised ESPN2 broadcasts throughout their first season of play.

 

May 14, 1999

The City of Akron completes $3.5 Million Dollar renovation of Firestone Stadium just in time for the home opener on 5/13. The Akron Racers much anticipated home opener schedules for May 13th had to be delayed due to rain soaked field and fans. The Racers defeated the Virginia Roadsters 8-5 before a crowd of 1,279 for their first win en route to a runner-up finish to the 1999 Championship Series held in Akron. Akron native, Carla Brookbank, got the win for the Racers and Akron’s first-ever hit and RBI. The game was televised on ESPN2.

 

June 22, 1999

A league high seven Racers were selected to participate in the WPSL’s second-annual All-Star event. Crystl Bustos (SS) heads a list that included Kellyn Tate (OF), Carla Brookbank (P), Traci Conrad (1B), Tobin Echo-Hawk (2B), Amy Kyler (P), and Nicole Odom (3B).

 

June 24, 1999

Eight-year old, Katie Burns, of Copley, Ohio, became the 10,000th fan to attend an Akron Racers game at Firestone Stadium.

 

August 22, 1999

Akron Racers clinch berth in WPSL Championship Semifinal after finishing third overall in regular season.

 

August 24–25, 1999

Akron Racers (37-29) earn WPSL Championship Series berth after sweeping Virginia Roadsters two games to none in WPSL Championship Semifinal.

 

August 27–28, 1999

Racers host the 1999 WPSL Championship at historic and newly renovated Firestone Stadium. Tampa Bay FireStix sweep Akron Racers in two games to capture team’s first WPSL Championship Series.

 

September 6, 1999

Akron Racers shortstop Crystl Bustos and Durham Dragons catcher Michelle Venturella named to 2000 U.S. Olympic Team.

 

October 14, 1999

WPSL suspends operations of Pride in Columbus, GA; Dragons in Durham, NC: Diamonds in Gastonia, NC: and Roadsters in Hampton, VA. Contracted Roadsters players assigned to Pride of Akron, Ohio. Contracted Pride players assigned to Wahoos of Plant City, FL. Tampa Bay FireStix relocate to Plant City Stadium
in Plant City, FL.

 

December 7, 1999

Summit County Council approved $30,000 appropriation to the Akron Racers for programs to educate area youth through seminars and clinics.

 

 

December 8, 1999

At the NFCA Convention held in St. Petersburg, FL, the WPF announced the official change of the league name to Women’s Professional Softball League (WPSL), to better communicate the name of the game to sports fans in general rather than the style of play.

 

  1999-Racers.jpg


1999 Renovation of Firestone Stadium


1999 Renovation of Firestone Stadium


1999 Renovation of Firestone Stadium


1999 Renovation of Firestone Stadium

 

2000

2000 HISTORICAL TIMELINE

June 2000
The 2000 WPSL season opened with the Firestone Stadium serving as the site for two professional fastpitch teams. The new resident, the Ohio Pride, would now share the home of the Racers in the newly aligned WPSL. Judy Martino and Margaret Sutter became the Pride’s coaching staff while former assistant Jen Poulsen moved up to head the Racers for the 2000 season.


January 8, 2000

Racers officially announced that they will play the USA National Team on June 9th as a part of the 31-city tour in preparation for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. The tour includes televising 10 games on ESPN2 between the WPSL teams and the national team.

 

May 18, 2000

GM Joey Arrietta signs Julie Smith to an Ohio Pride contract. Smith became the first player from the USA Olympic gold-medal winning team of 1996 to play in the WPSL. 
 

May 23, 2000

WPSL announces change in pitching distance from 43’ to the 40’ international standard.

 

June 9, 2000

Racers vs. USA Team draws crowd of 3,268 fans to Firestone Stadium. The exhibition game received a 0.5 rating on ESPN2, surpassing the channels average mark for NHL and Major League Soccer.

 

August 17, 2000

Racers battle the Ohio Pride for final spot in playoffs. The Pride defeats the Racers in final game of the regular season to earn a trip to the WPSL Championship vs. the Florida Wahoos in Springfield, Illinois.

 

 

   2000-Racers.jpg

 

2001 - 2003

2001-2003 HISTORICAL TIMELINE

June 1, 2001
WPSL launches the “Tour of Fastpitch Champions” in Plant City, FL, to focus on expansion opportunities. The roster featured 14 Olympians, national team members, international stars and collegiate All-Americans. The WPSL All-Stars were coached by Tim Kiernan and included Amy Kyler, Monica Armendarez, Kellyn Tate and Danielle Cox. The WPSL Gold Team was coached by former Racers coach, Judy Martino and featured Crystl Bustos, Danielle Henderson and Kelly Kretchman. All seven players had already worn the Racers jersey or would dawn the Akron moniker when the Racers returned to the field in 2004.

June 23-24, 2001
Firestone Stadium hosts the “Tour of Fastpitch Champions” before an excited crowd of fastpitch fans who welcomed back the game at its highest level of play from some of the best players in the world.


November 21, 2002

At the headquarters of MLB in New York, NPF announces plans for recruitment of independently owned teams and unveiled its new name National Pro Fastpitch and logo. Akron Racers continue with the support of the Akron Racers Foundation under GM, Joey Arrietta.

 

December 7, 2003

The 2004 NPF Draft included a total of 80 players. The Racers use their first pick in the draft and the second overall selection to obtain the rights to Mississippi State outfielder, Iyhia Mc Michael. With the 9th pick overall the Racers grab catcher, Jenn Poore (Oregon). Arrietta goes back to 2004 draftee, Oli Keohohou Long Beach) with the 25th spot in the draft.

 

 

 

   

 

2004

2004 HISTORICAL TIMELINE

March 21, 2004
NPF introduces the six teams participating in the 2004 season. The six NPF Ball Clubs include the Akron Racers (Akron, Ohio), Arizona Heat (Tucson, Arizona), Texas Thunder (Houston, Texas), New England Riptide (Boston/Lowell, Massachusetts), New York/New Jersey Juggernaut (Upper Montclair, NJ), and California Sunbirds (Stockton, California).


June 1, 2004

Akron open the 2004 campaign with a thrashing at the hands of the Texas Thunder 10-1 in Texas.

 

July 7. 2004
Five Akron Racers were named to NPF East Division All-Star Team including Iyhia McMichael (OF), Trena Peel (OF), Jenn Poore (C), Brandi Stuart (2B) and Nicole Trimboli (1B). Judy Martino and Margaret Sutter were selected to coach the East Division All-Star Team.

 

July 14, 2004

East NPF All-Stars fall to Team USA 5-0 in front of 4,600 fans at Don E. Porter Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, OK. Racers Brandi Stuart got one of only two hits, a double, given up by Lisa Fernandez. In the East vs. West game, Racers catcher, Jenn Poore grabbed one of only two hits off the Thunder’s Christa Williams in the 1-0 loss to the West All-Stars.

 

August 2004
Racers finish in second place with a 39-21 record. Iyhia McMichael claims the regular season league batting title with a .349 average while teammate Trena Peel grabs the RBI tile (27) and collects the homerun honors with 5. Radara McHugh and Brandee McArthur posted 12 wins each and rookie Nikki Myers adds 12. McArthur delivered a 1.17 ERA performance.

 

December 3, 2004
Owners of the individual NPF teams announce a plan intended to transition operations of the women’s professional fastpitch league from the founding Cowles family to an operating group consisting of team owners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   2004-Racers.jpg

 

2005

2005 HISTORICAL TIMELINE

February 7, 2005
Racers use the 5th pick in the 2005 NPF Senior Draft to select pitcher, Jamie Southern from Fresno State. Akron selects Oil Keohohou from Long Beach with the 23rd overall selection. Keohohou was declared an underclassman and could not enter the NPF in 2005.

 

March 10, 2005

The Akron Racers of NPF announce the signing of three members from the 2004 Gold Medal winning USA Olympic team. Infielder Crystl Bustos, outfielder Kelly Kretschman, and catcher Jenny Topping will all be members of the 2005 Racers Team.

 

March 23, 2005

NPF announces the 2005 schedule that will include a 48-game regular season schedule for each of the six NPF teams. The six NPF teams include the Akron Racers, Arizona Heat, Chicago Bandits, New England Riptide, NY/NJ Juggernaut and Texas Thunder. The California Sunbirds will also play a limited schedule in 2005.

 

August 30, 2005

After trailing by four runs early in the game, the Akron Racers take the 2005 NPF Championship in a 5–4, eight-inning championship game win over the Chicago Bandits, the regular season Champions.  Racers centerfielder, Iyhia McMichael, drove a Jennie Finch change-up over the left field wall to claim Akron’s first title. Radara McHugh was brilliant in relief of starter.

 

December 22, 2005
NPF announces that the league will open the 2006 season with seven teams including the Akron Racers, Arizona Heat, Chicago Bandits, Connecticut Brakettes, Philadelphia Force, New England Riptide and Texas Thunder. The 48-game schedule included seven home series and five road series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  2005-Champions.jpg

 2005-Racers.jpg

 

2006

2006 HISTORICAL TIMELINE

February 15, 2006
Pitcher Jennie Ritter (Michigan) becomes the Racers first pick in the 2006 NPF Senior Draft. Arrietta snags outfielder Caitlin Benyi (UCLA) with their second pick and the draft’s eighth player overall in the drafted.



August  2006
Racers finish the regular season in third place with a 29-17 record. Iyhia McMichael leads the league with a .333 batting average. Pitcher Radara McHugh registers a team-leading 15 wins and 101 strikeouts.

 

   2006-Racers.jpg

 

2007

2007 HISTORICAL TIMELINE

February 9, 2007
Six teams and 96 players join forces for the 2007 season to bring another exciting year of professional fastpitch to fans across the country. The six NPF teams include the 2006 Defending Champions, the New England Riptide, the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Rockford Thunder, the Washington Glory, the league’s newest team and the Philadelphia Force operating under new ownership.

 

February 14, 2007
Racers get back-to-back selections in the 2007 Senior Draft in the first round. Akron uses the sixth and seventh picks overall to select the speedsters, Norelle Dickson (Oklahoma) and Kellie Middleton (Georgia).

 

   2007-Racers.jpg

 

2008

2008 HISTORICAL TIMELINE

July 22, 2008
The Akron Racers hosted the 2008 USA National Team as a part of the Bound for Beijing Tour. A record crowd of 6,256 packed Firestone Stadium for the event with the Racers taking an early lead 2-0 on a two-run home run by Kristen Butler. The USA Teams rallied in the seventh inning to grab the 7-2 victory over the hometown team.


February 18, 2008

Virginia Tech sensation, pitcher Angela Tincher, becomes the Racers first pick in the 2008 NPF Senior Draft. Akron uses the 11th pick overall to select Hawaii’s Kate Robinson (P/OF).

 

August 30, 2008

The Racers placed two players on the ALL-NPF despite struggling through the 2008 season. Kristen Butler and Angela Tincher grabbed spots on the All-NPF Team. Tincher posts a league-leading 157 strikeouts in her rookie season with the Racers. While Butler grads the league Defensive Player of the Year honors.

 

 

   2008-Racers.jpg

 

2009

2009 HISTORICAL TIMELINE

February 17, 2009 
Racers acquire the top selection in the 2009 Draft from Washington to obtain three-time All-American outfielder Kaitlin Cochran. The Arizona standout clearly remains one of the top offensive performers in NCAA history. The Racers used the second pick overall to select pitcher D.J. Mathis from Oklahoma. The Racers added eight senior players to their explosive 2009 roster.


March 30, 2009 
Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist, Crystl Bustos returned to the Racers after picking up a silver medal in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Jenny Topping, a member of the 2004 USA Olympic Gold Medal team, also suited up for the 2009 season. Both players were members of the 2005 NPF Championship squad. 2008 All-NPF selections, Kristen Butler and Angela Tincher return to the Racers roster for the 2009 campaign.

June 6, 2009

Rookie sensation Lisa Norris tossed a perfect game in her first stop in the circle as a pro player.

 

August 2009

Firestone Stadium, once again, was the site of the NPF Championships as Cat Osterman and the Rockford Thunder slammed the door first on the Racers and then take down the USSSA Pride to grab their first NPF title. Osterman’s near perfect NPF performance earned her the tournament’s MVP honor.

 

August 30, 2009
The Racers roared back from a lack-luster 2008 campaign to finish runner-up once again to the Chicago Bandits. Racers added a couple of familiar faces to the roster from the New England Riptide. Defensive specialist Jackie Pasquerella and Lisa Modglin made a huge impact in the Racers line-up collecting All-NPF honors for their performances in 2009.

It was, however, the return of Crystl Bustos that fans of all ages wanted to see back in a Racers uniform. Bustos wasted no time picking up the 2009 NPF Most Valuable Player award as well as the league Best Offensive Award before setting down her cleats at home plate.  The Racers’ coaching staff including Barb Sherwood, Radara McHugh, Shawn Reis and Crystl Bustos received the Coaching Staff of the Year Award.

October 21, 2009
President/GM Joey Arrietta announced that Crystl Bustos had been named the Racers new field manager for the 2010 season. The wildly anticipated move from player-to-coach by Bustos makes Crystl the first NPF player to be named to the head job in league history.

 

   2009-Racers.jpg

 

2010

2010 HISTORICAL TIMELINE

February 15, 2010
Racers grab Ohio State catcher, Sam Marder with their first selection (7th overall) in the 2010 NPF Senior Draft. Marder was forced to sit out the 2010 campaign due to a nagging shoulder injury. Akron acquires with their second pick UCLA’s pitcher/first baseman, Megan Leganfeld (11th overall).


Bustos steps down as the Racers field manager to suit up for the 2010 season. Assistant Coaches Shawn Reis and George Bustos named co-head field managers.


August 2010
The Racers slip to a 24-25 regular season mark in 2010 after losing eight of their last 10 games.

   2010-Racers.jpg

 

2011

2011 HISTORICAL TIMELINE

March 15, 2011
Akron Racers select Georgia All-American, Taylor Schlopy with their first pick in the 2011 NPF Senior Draft and the second pick overall. The Racers add the All-Time SEC homerun hitter, Megan Bush (Florida), with the 6th pick overall in the draft.

 

March 24, 2011

Nicole Trimboli signs a free-agent contract to return to the Racers for her 8th season of play in the NPF. Trimboli joined the Racers as a part of the 2004 NPF Supplemental Draft. She was a member of the Racers who won their first NPF Championship in 2005.

 


March 28, 2011

Sam Marder (2010 first-round draftee) signs a free-agent contract to play for the Racers in 2011.

 

July 2, 2011

Kristina Thorson turns in a gutsy performance against Cat Osterman and the USSSA Pride to notch a 2-1 decision over the first place Pride.

 

July 2011

Racers turn the corner after a disappointing series against the Bandits to collect 6 victories out of final 10 games to move past the Bandits in the regular season race.

 

 

August 17, 2011

Three Racers were named to the All-NPF Team including pitcher Kristina Thorson, catcher Sam Marder and first baseman, Nicole Trimboli. Racers finished the regular season in second place with a 22-17 record. Thorson finished the regular season with a 9-3 record and a 2.12 ERA. Marder blasted seven homeruns en route to a .401 batting average, committing no errors behind the plate in 64 chances. Trimboli turned in a stellar performance at first base and in right field to earn yet another honor in her eighth season as a pro.


August 18-19, 2011

The Racers lost back-to-back games in the 2011 NPF Championships to the eventual champion, Chicago Bandits, in the championship series in Sulfur, LA. Sam Marder connected for her second homerun off Monica Abbott. Taylor Schlopy nailing her second homerun of the season for the Racers.
   2011-Team.jpg

 

2012

2012 HISTORICAL TIMELINE

February 3, 2012

Racers GM Joey Arrietta made her first splash into the free agent market with the signing of  2011 Women's College World Series National Champion Kaylyn Castillo from Arizona State. Castillo was the 2011 NFCA Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year.

February 8, 2012
Racers GM Joey Arrietta resigns Akron's one-two punch in the circle, from the 2011 Akron squad that finished second in the regular season for the sixth time in 10 seasons. 2011 All-NPF selections Kristina Thorson (P), and the 2010 NPF Pitcher of the Year, Lisa Norris return for the 2012 campaign

February 10, 2012
The Racers secured their outfield by resigning their number one pick in the 2011 NPF Senior Draft, Taylor Schlopy (Georgia,OF), the 2010 NPF  Defensive Player of the Year, Lisa Modglin and the speedster, Sharonda Mc Donald.


February 13, 2012

GM Joey Arrietta nailed down the hot corner obtaining former Alabama third baseman, Kelley Montalvo for her third season of play and slugger Nicole Pauly(2B) for her second season in Akron. The SEC's all-time homerun queen, Megan Bush (Florida, 1B)  inked her second deal to continue with the Racers. Bush
was the Racers second pick in the 2011 NPF Senior Draft.


February 22, 2012

Racers add free agent, Aja Paculba to the 2012 roster. The standout infielder from the University of Florida's WCWS runner-up squad spent last season with the NPF Diamonds.

February 29, 2012
GM, Joey Arrietta lands yet another free agent for the 2012 season. Brianna Hesson, the former Georgia Bulldog, is reunited with teammate, Taylor Schlopy for the 2012 NPF season. Hesson, one of the best defensive players in the SEC will add much needed depth to the Racers roster.

March 5, 2012

The highly anticipated launch of the new akronracers.org websites includes and in depth look at the Akron Racers, the Akron Racers Foundation and the Akron Racers Charities. The team, their amateur division and their 501c3 provide a comprehensive view of the fastpitch game from "Grassroots to the Pros."

March 6, 2012
The Racers welcome back for her eighth season of play, the  2011 All-NPF first baseman, Nicole Trimboli. This looks to be the final leg in the outstanding career for Trimboli. Nicole, orginally drafted in 2004 by the Colorado Alltitude (suspended play before playing their first game in the league), was obtained by the Racers in the 2004 NPF Supplemental Draft. She played two seasons and grabbed her first NPF Championship ring in 2005 with the Racers. Trimboli left the Racers and headed to Chicago where she played four seasons notching her second championship ring in 2008. Trimboli moved on to the USSSA Pride for the 2010 campaign but suffered an injury that sidelined her for the entire season. The spirited Trimboli motivated her teammates to grab yet another ring in 2010. Her return to Akron brings her career to full circle and back to what she refers to as "home."


March 7, 2012

In the first round of the 2012 NPF Senior Draft with the third overall pick the Racers selected shortstop Lexy Bennett from the University of Texas. The Racers selected in the second round and seventh overall pitcher Hillary Bach from Arizona State University.  The Racers third round pick and thirteenth overall was University of Michigan third baseman Amanda Chidester. Local Ohio State shortstop Alicia Herron was the team first pick in the fourth round and 14th overall. With the very next pick they drafted Fordham University pitcher Jen Mineau.  With the Racers final pick they selected California-Berkley outfielder Jamia Reid 19th overall in the fifth round.

 

May 5, 2012

Akron Racers third baseman Kelley Montalvo appeared on MTV hit show MADE. Montalvo was selected as a MADE coach for this episode and given the opportunity to mentor a young softball player who had aspirations of becoming a member of her high school softball team. In the episode of MADE, Montalvo discussed how she used softball to overcome some of her own personal issues. Montalvo’s mother was diagnosed with cancer in her senior season at Alabama.

 

June 23, 2012

The Akron Racers and Akron Beacon Journal recognized a group of honorees in an on-field pre-game ceremony in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Title IX legislation.  In addition, the Racers gave the first 500 fans in attendance a medallion to commemorate the event.  The Title IX event celebrated 40 female athletes, coaches and administrators.

 

October 30, 2012

Akron Racers GM, Joey Arrietta was awarded the Jodi Clark Award for her volunteer efforts at the Akron Race for the Cure.  The Jodi Clark Award was in memory of Jodi who was a tremendous Komen volunteer. Clark was a member of the logistics committee for the 2011 Pink on Link events. Jodi unfortunately passed away two days before the Pink on Link event. Lauren Barbour who is the volunteer and event coordinator of the Susan G. Komen for Cure said in a statement, “we could have not done this event without Joey.”

 

   

 

2013

2013 Historical Timeline

 

March 22, 2013

The Akron Racers signed the first ever Japanese player in Akron Racer history outfielder Ayumi Karino.  Karino helped Japan win the gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  Karino became second player from Japan to play in the NPF.

 

April 3, 2013

With the first overall selection in the 2013 NPF senior draft the Racers selected pitcher Rachele Fico out of LSU.  In the second round, with the eighth overall pick, the Racers selected pitcher Ivy Renfore from the University of Tennessee. In the third round, with the ninth overall pick the Akron Racers chose Brianna Cherry, outfielder from Louisiana-Lafayette. With their fourth selection, and sixteenth overall the Racers drafted infielder Tess Sito from the University of Georgia. With their fifth and final selection the Akron Racers drafted Arizona’s 3B/SS Bridgette Del Ponte with the 16th overall pick.

 

May 15, 2013

The Racers re-signed pitcher Lisa Norris GM Joey Arrietta announced.  Norris embarked on her fifth season in a Racer uniform with the deal, becoming the second longest tenured pitcher in team history.

 

June 5, 2013

The Racers announced that manager Eric Iverson stepped down for the 2013 season and assistant coach Ryan Phillips was named manager.  They also announced the hiring of assistant coach Heidi Jordan.

 

June 6, 2013

The Racers announced that they had signed free agent slugger Charlotte Morgan, previously of the USSSA Pride.  Morgan brought championship experience and leadership.

 

June 29 & 30, 2013

The Racers are celebrating their 12th anniversary on June 29-30 against the Chicago Bandits. In a statement from Owner/GM Joey Arrietta she said, “This is a fitting tribute to the players, fans, and the city of Akron, as the oldest existing team opens its 12th season of play,” GM Joey Arrietta said.  Among the events that took place was a reunion of all players to join the 2013 Racers.

 

August 18, 2013

The Akron Racers beat the NY/NJ Comets in the final game of the regular season.  The win capped a 16-32 season.

 

November 11, 2013

The Akron Racers announced the hiring of new manager Brian Levin.  Prior to coaching the Racer, Levin managed the University of Missouri-St. Louis Tritons softball program.  “Our search focused on finding someone that shared the vision for our program and the knowledge to get it done,” GM Joey Arrietta said.

 

December 10, 2013

The Racers hired Dustin Combs as their assistant manager the team announced today.  Combs comes to the Racers as head coach of William Jewell University where his teams have competed against manager Brian Levin’s UMSL Tritons in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

2014

2014 HISTORICAL TIMELINE

 

January 27, 2014

Third baseman Kelley Montalvo and centerfielder Taylor Schlopy agreed to re-join the Racers for the 2014 season, establishing the start of the veteran leadership of the club.

 

February 3, 2014

The Akron Racers added versatility to their team in adding utility player Nadia Taylor for the 2014 season.

 

February 28, 2014

The Racers added Nerissa Myers to the roster in a trade with the Chicago Bandits.  Akron sent catcher Kaylyn Castillo to Chicago in the deal.

 

April 3, 2014

With the third overall pick in the first round the Racers selected pitcher Hannah Campbell from the Universita of South Alabama.  In the second round, Akron went back to the circle to choose Laura Winter from Notre Dame with the seventh overall selection.  The Racers tabbed outfielder Jennifer Gilbert with the 10th overall pick in the third round.  In the fourth round Akron chose shortstop Jill Barrett from the University of Tulsa with the 15th overall pick.  With their final selection the Racers picked second baseman Ashley Thomas from Georgia Tech with the 18th overall choice in the fifth round.

 

May 28, 2014

The Racers announced the signing of rookie free agent pitcher Lannah Campbell for the 2014 season.  Campbell is the twin sister of first round draft pick Hannah Campbell.

 

May 29, 2014

The Racers kicked off the 2014 season with a 4-0 shutout of the Chicago Bandits.  Pitcher Rachele Fico tossed a one-hit shutout, retiring the last 19 batters she faced.

 

June 3, 2014

The Racers announced the signing of All-American pitcher Kaitlin Inglesby from the University of Washington.  Inglesby is added to a pitching staff that also includes rookies Hannah Campbell, Lannah Campbell and Laura Winter.

 

June 10/August 9, 2014

On June 10th and August 9th the Racers celebrated 15 years of Fighting Breast Cancer. In honor of the Fighting Breast Cancer, the Racers decided to call the event Pink the Park Night. Charities of the 15 year funding raising campaign against breast cancer were a great success by reaching $140,000.  Catching Cancer Before It Hits Home donated $15,155 to support Akron General Medical Center’s Muffins for Mammograms initiative.

 

August 22, 2014

The Akron Racers completed an upset of the second seeded Chicago Bandits to advance to the finals of the NPF Championship Series with a 1-0 win behind a complete game shutout by pitcher Lisa Norris and a solo home run by Jessica Garcia.  The win marks the Racers first appearance in the finals of the Championship Series since they won the championship in 2005.

 

October 27, 2014

Firestone Stadium has been awarded the NSA Complex Award. The Racers have been an organization since 1999. The Akron Racers have held NSA travel tournaments, Slam Series I and II. Racers also hold high school events in April each year that features over 100 teams. The Akron Racers have hosted OHSAA Girls Softball Tournament since 2008. Eleven Mid-American Conference championships have been held at Firestone Stadium. In 2007, the Division II National Championship was played at Firestone Stadium.

 
 

 

 

2015

2015 HISTORICAL TIMELINE

 

January 28, 2015

The Akron Racers traded two draft picks for seven-time All-NPF pitcher Sarah Pauly from the Pennsylvania Rebellion GM Joey Arrietta announced.  Pauly, in her 10th season in the NPF, is the league record holder for wins in a career.

 

April 1, 2015

The Racers selected outfielder Morgan Estell in the third round with the 12th pick overall in the 2015 draft.  With the 19th overall pick the Racers selected University of Kentucky catcher Griffin Joiner in the fourth round.  In the fifth round, Akron used the 23rd overall selection to choose outfielder Shellie Robinson from South Carolina-Upstate.  With their final pick the Racers tabbed infielder Megan Low in the sixth round (30th overall) out of the University of Texas-San Antonio.

 

June 18, 2015

The Akron Racers announced a $1.5 million ARC project to renovate Firestone Stadium.  The 90-year old Firestone Stadium complex will receive a third field, a new club house, concession stand, picnic area and indoor training facilities which will include a full size infield for defensive practices.  

 

August 8, 2015

Veteran pitcher Sarah Pauly achieved an unmatched feat in the NPF, becoming the first pitcher to win 100 career games.  Pauly threw a shutout and the Racers defeated the Pennsylvania Rebellion 6-0. 

 

October 29, 2015

The Akron Racers secured two-year contracts with third baseman Kelley Montalvo, centerfielder Taylor Schlopy and pitcher Sarah Pauly through the 2017 season.  The trio provides leadership and guidance as the team seeks a championship.

 

November 3, 2015

The Akron Racers signed three players to two-year contracts further developing the future core of the team.  Former Canadian National Team member and outfielder Jenn Gilbert, along with catcher Griffin Joiner and outfielder Shellie Robinson agreed to new deals.  Joiner and Robinson are entering their second season in the NPF.

 

November 18, 2015

The Racers traded shortstop Jill Barrett to the Chicago Bandits in exchange for two draft picks and outfielder A.J. Andrews.  Akron added a first round draft pick, the fourth overall, to go with their third overall selection and the 31st overall pick in the trade.  Andrews’ speed became an asset for the Racers both offensively and defensively.

2016

2016 HISTORICAL TIMELINE

 

January 18, 2016

The Racers announced that pitcher Laura Winter would be back for her third professional season in 2016.  Winter missed all of her 2014 rookie season due to injury, but impressed in 2015 to come back for a third year.

 

January 24, 2016

The Racers added two more arms to their pitching rotation with contract extensions for Alison Owen and Aimee Creger.  2016 is Owen’s third season in the NPF, all with the Racers, while Creger enters her second season.

 

January 29, 2016

Coach Brian Levin will be guiding the Akron Racers for a third season the team announced.  Levin headed up the 2014 NPF Coaching Staff of the Year in his first season with the team.  Levin also coaches the University of Missouri-St. Louis Tritons.

 

February 4, 2016

The Akron Racers announced the contract extension of assistant field manager Dustin Combs.  Combs joins field manager Brian Levin for each's third season coaching the Racers.

 

March 8, 2016

The Akron Racers kick off their celebration of their 15th Season of Play by announcing their first IMPACT honoree, pitcher Carla Brookbank-Schaal.  The IMPACT honorees is a list of the 30 players who have had the most profound impact on the organization since the first team took the field in 1999.  The honorees were announced one at a time from early March through early June 2016.

 

April 14, 2016

The Racers added eight players through the 2016 Senior Draft.  In the first round, Akron added pitcher Jailyn Ford from James Madison University and infielder Sami Fagan the University of Missouri with the third and fourth overall picks, respectively.  In the second round, the Racers tabbed infielder Alex Hugo from the University of Georgia with the 10th overall selection.  Akron chose utility player Geri Ann Glasco (20th overall selection) from the University of Oregon and first baseman Sandra Simmons (23rd overall selection) from Louisiana State University in the fourth round.    In the fifth round, the Racers tabbed Troy University catcher Hannah Day and University of South Alabama utility player Emily Messer with back-to-back picks.  Akron's final selection of the draft cam in the sixth round when they made University of Missouri-St. Louis pitcher Hannah Perryman the first player drafted into the NPF from a Division II school.

 

June 9, 2016

Akron Racers second baseman Ashley Thomas played in her 100th consecutive game for the Racers, a 5-3 victory over the Pennsylvania Rebellion.  Thomas appeared in every game of her Racers career.

 

June 10, 2016

Behind three runs scored by right fielder A.J. Andrews and four RBI from first baseman Sam Fischer, the Racers defeated the Pennsylvania Rebellion 10-6 to earn the Racers their 350th franchise victory.

 

July 11, 2016

Racers centerfielder Taylor Schlopy breaks the franchise record for runs scored in a career, previously held by Iyhia McMichael, with her 144th run scored in the Racers 2-0 victory over the Pennsylvania Rebellion.

 

August 1, 2016

With four home runs in a 7-3 win over the Dallas Charge, the Akron Racers break the single-season franchise home run record, which they would set at 57 by season's end.  Second baseman Ashley Thomas and rookie Sam Fischer each hit one home run, while rookie shortstop Sami Fagan hit two home runs in the win.

 

August 6, 2016

Taylor Schlopy breaks the Akron Racers career hits record, previously held by Iyhia McMichael, with her 193rd career hit in a 6-5 loss to the Scrap Yard Dawgs.

 

August 12, 2016

In the final game of the regular season, rookie shortstop Sami Fagan tied the Racers single season franchise record with her 62nd hit of the season in a 4-3 loss to the USSSA Pride.

 

August 18, 2016

At the annual NPF Awards Banquet, right fielder A.J. Andrews became the first female recipient of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award, being honored with the NPF's top defensive award, that had previously only been awarded to Major League Baseball players.  Shortstop Sami Fagan was also honored as the Rookie of the Year and catcher Griffin Joiner, third baseman Kelley Montalvo, centerfielder Taylor Schlopy and Fagan were all named to the All-NPF team.

 

November 11, 2016

A.J. Andrews attends the Rawlings Gold Glove Dinner at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Andrews was honored as the first female winner of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award, and was presented alongside some of the best players in the MLB at the organization’s annual ceremony. 

 

 

2017

 2017 Historical Timeline

 
January 17, 2017
 
The Racers announce the signing of third-year pitcher Emily Weiman to a contract for the 2017 season. Weiman played the previous two seasons with the Pennsylvania Rebellion after they selected her 22nd overall in the 2015 NPF Draft.
 
March 3, 2017
 
“Burn the Ships” is announced at the Cleveland International Film Festival. “Burn the Ships” is a feature length documentary film produced by Think Media Studios that follows a year in the life of the Akron Racers.
 
March 31, 2017
 
Think Media Studios’ documentary “Burn the Ships” about the Akron Racers premieres at the Cleveland International Film Festival at the Akron Summit County Public Library.
 
 
April 9, 2017
 
Directors of Akron Racers documentary “Burn the Ships”, Danielle Miller and Julia Thorndike of Think Media Studios, are awarded the ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman at the Cleveland International Film Festival. 
 

Site Map