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WPSL Championship: Tampa Bay defeats Akron 3-2 in Game One

AKRON, Ohio - Aug. 27 - Pat Dufficy's three-run pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the 12th inning gave the Tampa Bay FireStix a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Akron Racers in game one of the 1999 WPSL Championship Series Friday at Firestone Stadium.

The Racers broke a 0-0 tie with two outs in the top of the 12th inning when Kelli Metzger scored from second on an RBI-single to center by Kellyn Tate. Traci Conrad followed Metzger with Akron's second run when FireStix second baseman Michelle Hubler's relay throw skipped away from catcher Marty Laudato.

Tampa Bay head coach Linda Derk, the 1999 WPSL Coach of the Year, inserted Dufficy for Jodi Chmielewski after Laudato led off the inning with a base hit to right and advanced to second on a one-out single by Christine Parris-Washington. Dufficy then deposited the first pitch she saw over the left field fence. The longtime USA Softball Women's National Team member and Raybestos Brakette hit one home run in 50 regular-season games for the FireStix.

DeeDee Weiman-Garcia posted the 12-inning complete-game victory for the FireStix. The WPSL's all-time leader in strikeouts fanned 12, walked five and allowed just one earned run on eight hits. Akron, Ohio, native Carla Brookbank took the loss, despite surrendering just four hits over 11.1 innings pitched. She pitched nine innings before allowing Tampa Bay's first hit, a leadoff single to right center by Laudato, the 1999 WPSL Hitter of the Year. Brookbank struck out two and walked three for the Racers.

Tampa Bay and Akron will meet in game two Saturday at 5:30 p.m. If necessary, game three will be played 20 minutes after the conclusion of game two. ESPN2 will televise the final game of the 1999 WPSL Championship Series Monday, Sept. 6 at 9:30 p.m. EDT.