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Akron Racers


Akron Racers

Akron Racers
League National Pro Fastpitch
Location Akron, Ohio
Ballpark Firestone Stadium
Year founded 1999
Colors black, red, grey
Management Joey Arrietta (GM)
Coach Brian Levin
Exterior of Firestone Stadium, site of Akron Racer home games.

The Akron Racers are a women's softball team based in Akron, Ohio. The team was started by Joey Arietta in 1999 to participate in the Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL).[1][2] Since the 2004 season, they have played as a member of National Pro Fastpitch (NPF).


  • History 1
    • 2015 1.1
  • Notable players 2
  • Retired numbers 3
  • Current players 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


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 [3]

In their first year the Racers made it to the championship of the WPSL, but lost to the Tampa Bay FireStix.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6]

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 the face the USSSA Pride. The Racers and Pride battle for eight 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.


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.[7]

Notable players

  • Crystl Bustos (1999, 2005, 2006)[8]

Retired numbers

The Bandits have retired four numbers:[9]

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 players


  1. ^ "AKRON GENERAL MEDICAL CENTER -- TOGETHER". Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  2. ^ "1999 WPSL Season" (pdf). Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  3. ^ Digital Ballparks: Firestone Stadium
  4. ^ "Steve Dimitry's IWPSA Web Page". Archived from the original on 2009-10-24. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  5. ^ " About NPF". Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Racers Sign Three Draft Picks". 28 May 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "Crystl Bustos". Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  9. ^ "Firestone Stadium A-Z". Retrieved 19 May 2015. 

External links

  • Akron Racers
  • National Pro Fastpitch
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