Justin's World of Softball learned late Friday that the winds of change will be blowing through Akron, Ohio and will bring drastic changes to the Akron Racers of the National Pro Fastpitch league.
Sources informed JWOS that members of the 2017 Racers roster were informed on Friday that, among other happenings, general manager Joey Arrietta was no longer a part of the franchise. In addition to her general manager duties, Arrietta is also a minority owner of the club; there was no immediate word on how her departure from the team would affect her percentage of ownership in the Racers.
The franchise will no longer be known as the Akron Racers, the source said, and is expected to have a front office that is league-run, similarly to the NPF Diamonds of 2011. Full-time Racers team staff will not be retained.
Reports have also emerged that the team may become a secondary affiliate of the Beijing Shougang Eagles, the Chinese national team affiliate that joined the NPF last year for preparation in advance of the 2020 Olympic qualifiers and the Tokyo 2020 Games.
As it stands now, the Racers hold six players under contract beyond next month's opening of free agency; pitchers Megan Betsa and Sara Groenewegen and infielder Maddy Grimm are on contracts through 2020, while infielder Haley Fagan, pitcher Alexis Silkwood; and outfielder Megan Geer are signed through 2019.
This is a developing story. Requests for comment to the NPF league office and commissioner Cheri Kempf were not immediately returned.