Flashes Split Day One of Marshall Invitational
Marshall Box Presbyterian Box
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Kent State (6-9) knocked 20 hits on the day, in a split of its first two games at the Marshall Invitational Friday. The Golden Flashes pounded Presbyterian 10-1 in six innings, before dropping a nine-inning battle with Marshall 4-3.
In the opener, both sides were held scoreless in the first three innings, before the Golden Flashes unleashed six runs on seven hits in the fourth. Shannon Laughlin led off the fourth with a single left center. Following four more singles, Jess Carmichael broke the game wide open with a double to right field, scoring two and giving KSU a 5-0 lead. Alex Marcantonio followed with a double to left bringing home Carmichael.
"We did a really good job of coming through with two out hits in the fourth." Head Coach Karen Linder said.
In the top of the fifth, Jess Blanton sent her third home run of the year over the left field fence, extending the Flashes' lead to 7-0. Presbyterian got one run back in the fifth, but it was the only damage Markie Pozzuto allowed in the game. Pozzuto allowed only one walk in six innings, improving to 3-2 on the year.
"Markie pitched very well," Linder said. "She was getting ahead in the count and was in total control. It was great to see her pitch with such confidence and shut them down."
After the first two Flashes were retired in the sixth, Carmichael and Marcantonio got a three-run rally started. Laughlin, Blanton and Beth Cinadr all notched two-out hits in the sixth. Pozzuto retired the side in the sixth with a pair of strikeouts as the run rule took effect.
The Thundering Herd and Golden Flashes were tied 3-3 after seven innings. Despite having a runner placed on second to start the eighth and ninth frames, KSU could not bring a run across. In the bottom of the ninth, Marshall bunted its runner over to third and scored the winning run on an infield single.
Starting pitcher Lauren McNeil allowed just two earned runs in 8.1 innings against the Herd. She struck out five and walked one. Meanwhile, Cinadr went 3-for-4 at the plate, giving her five hits on the day.
"Beth looked really confident at the plate today," Linder said.
Laughlin helped get the Flashes on the board first with a double down the left field line, before scoring on a single by Mary Holt. Holt also had a strong day at shortstop according to Linder.
Marshall responded with two runs in the bottom of the second, taking advantage of a bunt single, two stolen bases, a suicide squeeze and an error. The Herd added another run in the fourth on a solo home run by Melanie Stoehr.
The two-run lead didn't last long as Jess Carmichael belted a two-out, two-run blast to right field in the top of the fifth. The Flashes then left a runner on in the sixth and two runners on in the seventh. Cinadr ripped an eighth inning single into right, but pinch runner Abbey Ledford got picked off at second just prior to the hit.
"Lauren (McNeil) pitched well in the second game," Linder said. "And I was happy with the way we fought back. Jess (Carmichael) had a huge home run to tie it."
The Golden Flashes will play a rematch with Marshall Saturday at 1 p.m., before taking on Presbyterian at 3 p.m.