1994-1998 HISTORICAL TIMELINE
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
December 22, 1998
Michael Bastian, Centenary College Head Coach, was named the Racers first full-time heads coach.
2001-2003 HISTORICAL TIMELINE
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 HISTORICAL TIMELINE
Akron open the 2004 campaign with a thrashing at the hands of the Texas Thunder 10-1 in Texas.
July 7. 2004
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.
December 3, 2004
2005 HISTORICAL TIMELINE
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
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
2006 HISTORICAL TIMELINE
2007 HISTORICAL TIMELINE
February 14, 2007
2008 HISTORICAL TIMELINE
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.
2009 HISTORICAL TIMELINE
June 6, 2009
Rookie sensation Lisa Norris tossed a perfect game in her first stop in the circle as a pro player.
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
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
October 21, 2009
| 22010 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.
2011 HISTORICAL TIMELINE
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.
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.
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.
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.
2012 HISTORICAL TIMELINE