The Heat scored five runs in the top of the seventh inning and held off a furious attempt to tie the game in the bottom of the frame to take a 9-8 victory at the Caribou Heights diamonds.
Thing is, it looked as if it was going to be just another regular ole game with a standard score heading into the seventh.
The Hustlers had built a 7-4 lead and had plenty of opportunities to add to their totals throughout the contest, having left runners in scoring position every inning, including bases loaded in each of the fourth and fifth frames.
The Heat, meanwhile, did most of their damage in the third, scoring three runs as Hustlers starter Adrianna Phillips scattered five hits heading into the seventh. And then, everything changed.
The first four Heat hitters would all record base hits – with Kimberley Michelson and Ali Kowalenko hitting run-scoring doubles – before Bailey Mackie doubled to knock home Shayla Freeman with the go-ahead run. Krissy Rusu took over in the circle and promptly recorded the second out of the inning, but Ashley Blair was able to single home Mackie with what would turn out to be a crucial insurance marker and a 9-7 lead.
The Hustlers wouldn’t go down without a fight, though.
After Rachelle Grado knocked home Tanya McLean to pull her squad within one, the Hustlers had bases loaded with one out. Dawn Froats grounded to short to force Rusu at home for the second out, and Heat pitcher Megan Auger was able to strike out Taylor Phillips to end the game.
Interestingly enough, every player on each team reached base at least once, and all but two players had at least one base hit.
Sheri Logan and Taylor Logan each reached base five times for the Hustlers, with Sheri scoring a pair of runs and Taylor recording three runs batted in. Kowalenko finished the game 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored to lead the Heat.
Both teams are right back in action Thursday night as the Heat face Assiniboia at 6:30 p.m. and the Hustlers duel the Aces at 8:30 p.m.