Akron, Ohio-- Crystl Bustos hit her league-leading sixth home run and Brandee McArthur tossed a two-hit shutout as the Akron Racers cruised to an 8-0 win over the Venezuelan National Team.
The Racers won their 10th straight game to remain in first place in the National Pro Fastpitch standings at 12-1.
Bustos crushed a three-run blast to straight away center field in the bottom of the first inning and staked McArthur to a 3-0 lead. The two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist also leads the NPF in RBI (18).
Olympic catcher Jenny Topping added an RBI double in the fifth frame. With two out in the sixth, center fielder Iyhia McMichael doubled, shortstop Kristin Johnson delivered an RBI single, and then Bustos was intentionally walked. First baseman Oli Keohohou singled to left center, scoring Johnson.
When the Venezuelans made a play on Bustos at third, Keohohou broke for second base. The resulting overthrow enabled Bustos and Keohohou to score and made it 8-0.
McArthur struck out nine and walked one to go to 5-0. Denisse Fuenmayor and Yusmary Perez were the only Venezuelans to hit safely. Marianella Castellanos went the distance and took the loss for Venezuela.
Game #2 of the four-game series is slated for 7:05 p.m. Friday at Firestone Stadium.