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Akron Beats Virginia 1-0 in WPSL Playoff Opener

AKRON, Ohio -  Aug. 24 - Traci Conrad scored from second on a two-out, sixth-inning single by Crystl Bustos to give the Akron Racers a 1-0 win over the Virginia Roadsters in game one of the 1999 WPSL Championship Semifinal Tuesday at Firestone Stadium.

The start of Tuesday's game was delayed 42 minutes due to rain. Akron and Virginia will meet in game two of the best-of-three series Wednesday, Aug. 25 at 5:30 p.m. If necessary, game three will be played 20 minutes after the conclusion of the second game.

Akron starter Amy Kyler threw a three-hit complete-game shutout to record the game one victory. The former Cleveland State University standout struck out eight and walked none in seven innings pitched. Virginia ace Kaci Clark took the loss despite allowing one run on three hits. The 1998 WPF Pitcher of the Year threw five no-hit innings before allowing a leadoff single to Tobin Echo-Hawk in the top of the sixth. Echo-Hawk was later forced out at second on Traci Conrad's fielder's choice. Kellyn Tate then sacrificed Conrad to second and Bustos followed with the game-winning single down the left field line. Leah Braatz later popped out to third baseman Cheri Shinn to end the inning. The Roadsters threatened in the bottom of the second inning when Scia Maumausolo led off with a double to center. She later advanced to third on a two-out single to center by Sara Pickering, but failed to score when Jen Cline ended the inning with a groundout to third. Virginia also left a runner stranded in the bottom of the third inning when Priscilla Welch struck out and reached first on a passed ball by Racers catcher Leah Braatz. Welch then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Barbara Jordan and took third on a wild pitch. Sarah Fredstrom, however, laid down a bunt with two down and was thrown out at first by Braatz to end the inning.

The winner of the WPSL Championship Semifinal will face the first-place Tampa Bay FireStix (37-29) in the 1999 WPSL Championship Series Friday, August 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, August 28 at 5:30 p.m. The best-of-three series will be played at Firestone Stadium. ESPN2 will televise the final game of the WPSL Championship Series Monday, September 6 at 9:30 p.m. EDT.

Tickets to the 1999 WPSL Championship Semifinal and the 1999 WPSL Championship Series can be purchased through the Racers ticket office during normal business hours. Tickets cost $7 for stadium seats, $6 for grandstand seats and $5 for general admission seats. For more information regarding the 1999 WPSL Championship Semifinal and the 1999 WPSL Championship Series, please contact the Racers ticket office at (330) 376-4487.