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The Akron Racers were a women's softball team based in Akron, Ohio. They have moved to Cleveland and been renamed the Cleveland Comets in 2018.[1] The team was started by Joey Arietta in 1999 to participate in the Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL).[2][3] From 2004-2017, they have played as a member of National Pro Fastpitch (NPF).

Akron Racers
AkronRacers.PNG
Information
LeagueNational Pro Fastpitch
LocationAkron, Ohio
BallparkFirestone Stadium
Year founded1999
Cowles Cup championships2005
Colorsblack, red, grey
Retired numbers4, 6, 24, 43
OwnershipCraig Stout
General ManagerStephen Dunn
Exterior of Firestone Stadium, site of Akron Racer home games.

Contents

HistoryEdit

The Akron Racers became the first Midwest franchise to begin play in the WPSL in 1999. The league suspended play in Orlando and assigned the Wahoos roster to the Racers. In 2000, the league consolidated sending the Georgia Pride team to Akron. The team was renamed the Ohio Pride. Both teams began sharing Firestone Stadium [4]

In their first year the Racers made it to the championship of the WPSL, but lost to the Tampa Bay FireStix.[5]

The WPSL suspended operations in 2001; the Racers was the only team of the four 2001 teams to revive when the league reformed as the NPF in 2004. In 2005 the Racers beat the Chicago Bandits to win the NPF championship.[6] From 2004 to 2008, the Akron Racers have compiled an all-time win-loss record of 149-94.

Crystl Bustos was named manager in October 2009, replacing Barb Sherwood.[7]

The Racers upset the highly favored Chicago Bandits in the 2014 NPF Championship Series in Hoover, AL in the best two-of-three to move on to face the USSSA Pride. The Racers and Pride battle for eighth innings before the Pride pushed across a run on the bottom of the eighth inning to take the 1-0 advantage. The Racers could not hold off the Pride in game two dropping the 8-3 decision.

The Racers grabbed Coach of the Year honors (Brian Levin & Dustin Combs), Offensive Player of the Year (Nerissa Myers) and Jennie Finch Award (Kelley Montalvo). Five Racers were named to the All-NPF Team including Myers, Montalvo, Rachele Fico and rookies Jill Barrett and Ashley Thomas.


2015Edit

Of their selections in the 2015 NPF Draft, the Racers signed Griffin Joiner of Kentucky, Shellie Robinson of USC Upstate, and Megan Low of UTSA.[8]

2016Edit

Rawlings awarded their first Gold Glove to a female in 2016, and the Racers' AJ Andrews was the initial recipient.[9]

15th Anniversary Impact HonoreesEdit

To celebrate their 15th anniversary, a milestone marking them as one of the longest-running pro female sports franchises, the Racers announced the would be naming 30 members of a Racers' "Impact" team. These 30 players are an all-star collection of players throughout the Racers' 15 years, chosen by a panel evaluating those who had the most impact on the team.[10]

The Impact honorees were made public one at a time on the Racers' website. Following is the full List of 2016 Akron Racers IMPACT Honorees

1. Carla Brookbank-Schaal[11] 9. Radara McHugh[12] 17. Angela Tincher[13] 25. Nerissa Myers[14]
2. Crystl Bustos[15] 10. Iyhia McMichael[16] 18. Norelle Dickson[17] 26. Charlotte Morgan[18]
3. Amy Kyler[19] 11. Nicole Trimboli[20] 19. Jackie Pasquerella[21] 27. Rachele Fico[22]
4. Sarah Dawson[23] 12. Brandee McArthur[24] 20. Lisa Modglin[25] 28. Ashley Thomas[26]
5. Nicole Odom Reis[27] 13. Jenny Topping[28] 21. Lisa Norris[29] 29.Taylor Schlopy[30]
6. Tobin Echo-Hawk[31] 14. Oli Keohohou[32] 22. Sam Marder[33] 30. Kelley Montalvo[34]
7. Kellyn Tate[35] 15. Kristen Butler[36] 23. Jill Barrett[37]
8. Kristin Johnson[38] 16. Veronica Wootson[39] 24. Ayumi Karino[40]

2017Edit

Citing a desire to focus on his position as coach of the Belmont Bruins softball team, Brian Levin stepped down as the Racers' head coach.[41] The Racers' record was 4-5 on June 16.

The Racers finished the regular season in third place, and were swept by the Scrap Yard Dawgs in the first round of the playoffs.


General managersEdit

All-time head coachesEdit

# Name Term Regular season Playoffs
GC W L W% GC W L W%
1 Brian Levin 2014-2017 146 68 78 .460 9 2 7 .222
1 Charlotte Morgan 2017 41 22 19 .537 2 0 2 .000

Season-by-seasonEdit

Season W L T Finish Playoff results
1999 34 32 0 2nd place WPSL Lost to Virginia Roadsters in WPSL Semifinals
2000 15 17 0 3rd place WPSL Did Not Qualify
2004 39 21 0 2nd place National Pro Fastpitch Lost to NY/NJ Juggernaut in NPF Semifinals
2005 36 10 0 2nd place National Pro Fastpitch Won NPF Championship
2006 29 17 0 3rd place National Pro Fastpitch Lost to Connecticut Brakettes in NPF Semifinals
2007 26 17 0 2nd place National Pro Fastpitch Eliminated by Rockford Thunder in Game 3
2008 19 29 0 5th place National Pro Fastpitch Did Not Qualify
2009 26 14 0 2nd place National Pro Fastpitch Lost to Rockford Thunder in NPF Semifinals
2010 24 25 0 3rd place National Pro Fastpitch Lost to USSSA Pride in NPF Semifinals
2011 22 17 0 2nd place National Pro Fastpitch Lost to Chicago Bandits in NPF Semifinals
2012 14 30 0 4th place National Pro Fastpitch Lost to USSSA Pride in NPF Semifinals
2013 16 32 0 3rd place National Pro Fastpitch Lost to USSSA Pride in Game 2 of NPF Championship Semifinals
2014 24 24 0 3rd place National Pro Fastpitch Lost to USSSA Pride in NPF Finals
2015 22 26 0 3rd place National Pro Fastpitch Lost to Chicago Bandits in NPF Semifinals
2016 22 28 0 4th place National Pro Fastpitch Lost to USSSA Pride in NPF Semifinals
2017 26 24 0 3rd place National Pro Fastpitch Lost to Scrap Yard Dawgs in NPF Semifinals
WPSL Totals 49 49 0
WPSL and NPF Totals 394 363 0
NPF Totals 345 314 0

Notable playersEdit

  • Crystl Bustos (1999, 2005, 2006)[42]

Retired numbersEdit

The Racers have retired four numbers:[43]

Player Number
Carla Brookbank-Schaal 4
Crystl Bustos 6
Amy Kyler 24
Duke Justice [note 1] 43
  1. ^ The number 43 is also retired in honor of Duke Justice, who served as a groundskeeper at Firestone Stadium for 43 years.

Current playersEdit

Akron Racers roster
Active roster
(YYYY = Final season of player contract)
Inactive roster Coaches

Pitchers

Catchers

Utility players

Infielders

Outfielders

Unsigned Draftees
(Year Team's Rights Expire)
Derostered but Under Contract
(Year Contract Expires)
Assistant Coaches

Legend
  • * Franchise Player Tag
  • (C) Captain
  • (A) Alternate captain

Roster updated June 16, 2017

All NPF rosters

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://www.wkyc.com/article/news/local/akron/campaign-launches-to-bring-professional-softball-back-to-akron/95-564360111
  2. ^ "AKRON GENERAL MEDICAL CENTER -- TOGETHER". Archived from the original on June 4, 2008. Retrieved 2009-10-05.
  3. ^ "1999 WPSL Season" (pdf). Retrieved 2009-10-05.
  4. ^ Digital Ballparks: Firestone Stadium
  5. ^ "Steve Dimitry's IWPSA Web Page". Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. Retrieved 2009-10-05.
  6. ^ "profastpitch.com: About NPF". Retrieved 2009-10-05.
  7. ^ cleveland.com
  8. ^ "Racers Sign Three Draft Picks". AkronRacers.org. 28 May 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  9. ^ "ANDREWS MAKES HISTORY AS FIRST GOLD GLOVE WINNER". AkronRacers.org. 18 August 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  10. ^ "RACERS IMPACT HONOREES SET TO BE UNVEILED BEGINNING MARCH 8TH". AkronRacers.org. 3 March 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  11. ^ "AKRON'S CARLA BROOKBANK-SCHAAL IS THE RACERS' FIRST IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 8 March 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  12. ^ "RACERS CELEBRATE IMPACT HONOREE RADARA MCHUGH". AkronRacers.org. 5 April 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  13. ^ "ANGELA TINCHER NAMED TO RACERS IMPACT HONOREE LIST". AkronRacers.org. 3 May 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  14. ^ "NERISSA MYERS NAMED AN IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 26 May 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  15. ^ "CRYSTL BUSTOS NAMED AKRON RACERS SECOND IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 10 March 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  16. ^ "IYHIA MCMICHAEL NAMED THE 10TH AKRON RACERS IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 7 April 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  17. ^ "NORRELLE DICKSON NAMED AN IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 5 May 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  18. ^ "CHARLOTTE MORGAN NAMED 26TH RACERS IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 27 May 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  19. ^ "AMY KYLER IS THE THIRD AKRON RACERS IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  20. ^ "NICOLE TRIMBOLI NAMED AKRON RACERS IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 12 April 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  21. ^ "JACKIE PASQUERELLA IS THE 19TH AKRON RACER IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 10 May 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  22. ^ "RACHELE FICO NAMED AN IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  23. ^ "PITCHER SARAH DAWSON NAMED AN IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  24. ^ "BRANDEE MCARTHUR NAMED IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  25. ^ "LISA MODGLIN NAMED AN AKRON RACER IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 12 May 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  26. ^ "ASHLEY THOMAS NAMED AN IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 1 June 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  27. ^ "NICOLE ODOM NAMED AKRON RACERS IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 22 March 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  28. ^ "JENNY TOPPING NAMED AN IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 19 April 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  29. ^ "LISA NORRIS NAMED 21ST AKRON RACER IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  30. ^ "TAYLOR SCHLOPY NAMED AN AKRON RACERS IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  31. ^ "TOBIN ECHO-HAWK JOINS FORMER TEAMMATE AS THE NEXT RACERS IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  32. ^ "OLI KEOHOHOU BECOMES 14TH RACERS IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 21 April 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  33. ^ "RACERS TAB SLUGGER SAM MARDER AS THE 22ND IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  34. ^ "KELLEY MONTALVO NAMED FINAL RACERS IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 3 June 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  35. ^ "FORMER MICHIGAN GRAD, KELLYN TATE NAMED RACERS IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 29 March 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  36. ^ "FORMER GATOR KRISTEN BUTLER NAMED AKRON IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  37. ^ "JILL BARRETT NAMED IMPACT HONOREE BY THE AKRON RACERS". AkronRacers.org. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  38. ^ "KRISTIN JOHNSON NAMED IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 31 March 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  39. ^ "VERONICA WOOTSON NEXT RACERS IMPACT HONOREE". AkronRacers.org. 28 April 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  40. ^ "RACERS PROUD TO RECOGNIZE IMPACT HONOREE AYUMI KARINO". AkronRacers.org. 25 May 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  41. ^ "Levin Leaves Akron Racers; Schlopy, Hugo "Derostered"". Justin's World of Softball. 16 June 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  42. ^ "Crystl Bustos". Retrieved 2009-10-05.
  43. ^ "Firestone Stadium A-Z". AkronRacers.org. Retrieved 19 May 2015.

External linksEdit

Achievements
Preceded by
NY/NJ Juggernaut
2004
Cowles Cup NPF Champions
Akron Racers

2005
Succeeded by
New England Riptide
2006