AKRON, Ohio Crystl Bustos hit three home runs, including a sixth-inning grand slam, as Akron rallied for a 9-5 NPF win over Arizona Thursday evening at Firestone Stadium.
The Racers improved to 21-4 and defeated Arizona for the fourth time in five games. The Heat slipped to 19-10. The two teams meet again Friday at 7:05 p.m.
Trailing 2-1, the Racers took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth inning. Right fielder Jackie Poggendorf led off and dropped a perfect bunt, stole second, and scored the tying run on Iyhia McMichaels RBI single. With two outs, Bustos then crushed a two-run blast to straight-away center field to give Akron a 4-2 advantage.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist leads the NPF in home runs (13) and RBI (36).
In the sixth, after Lindsey Bashor walked and scored, Bustos belted a grand slam home run over the center field fence and capped her remarkable evening with seven RBI.
Arizona center fielder LaDonia Hughes laced a three-run home run to right-center field in the seventh to set the final score at 9-5.
The Heat jumped on Akron starter Brandee McArthur for two runs in the first. Lauren Bauer and Nichole Thompson hit back-to-back triples to right field to start the game. Jackie Coburn plated Thompson with sacrifice fly. Bustos answered with a solo home run in the bottom half of the first.
McArthur (8-1) picked up the win, fanning five and walking three. Erica Beach (7-6) absorbed the loss.