A couple of errors -- a bad throw by outfielder Nicole Trimboli a failed pickoff throw by catcher Rachel Folden -- helped the Akron Racers top the Chicago Bandits 7-6 on Sunday.
After Akron's Sari-Jane Jenkins was sent to pinch run for Jenny Topping, Folden attempted to pick off Jenkins, but the throw sailed into foul territory down the right field line, which allowed Jenkins to advance to second base. Jenkins then advanced to third after Trimboli threw the ball across the infield toward the Bandits dugout. Sam Ricketts grounded the ball to the shortstop, and the throw home was not in time to get Jenkins.
Crystl Bustos crushed a two-run homer to right field in the bottom of the first inning to start the game. Bustos drove in Lisa Modglin, who smacked a base hit into left field. The Racers held the lead until the fourth inning. Angela Tincher held off the Bandits, allowing Chicago's leadoff hitter in the first three innings to get a base hit, but stranding them all three times.
Trimboli smashed a home run to right-center field in the fourth inning, while Samantha Findlay followed her teammate with a home run of her own to tie the game at 2-2. In the top of the fifth inning, Chicago scored four runs, including a three-run homer by Trimboli and knocked Tincher out of the game with the Bandits leading 6-2.
Akron came back in the bottom of the inning with four runs. Kenora Posey greeted Eileen Canney, who came on in relief at the start of the fifth inning, with a one-out infield single. Modglin then followed with a line drive that flew over the left field fence to make the game 6-4 in favor of Chicago. Two batters later, Bustos launched a homer to center field to tie the game. Bustos' home run ended Canney's short day, as she allowed four runs on four hits, two home runs while only recording one out.
After Bustos' big day, the former Olympian stood alone at the top of the NPF leader board in batting average (.427), home runs (8) and RBIs (24).
Lisa Norris (6-4) picked up her sixth win in relief for the Racers, which ties her for best on the team with Tincher and places both of them in a five-way tie for second place in the league. Norris was also the only pitcher out of the five on the night for both teams to not allow a run. She pitched 2 2/3 innings allowing two hits and striking out three. Tincher picked up a rare no-decision as the Racer gave up six runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out five in 4 1/3 innings in the circle.
Kristina Thorson (6-5) picked up a tough loss as she allowed one unearned run without allowing a hit, one walk and one strike out in 1 2/3 innings of work. Brandice Balschmiter got the start for Chicago and went four innings allowing two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out a pair of Racers.
With Sunday's win the Racers became the first team to win a series against the first place Bandits in 2009.