Flashes Drop Pair On Day One of Marshall Invitational
HUNTINGTON, W.V.- A rough first inning against IPFW and a tricky second inning against Marshall made the difference in a pair of Kent State losses Friday at Dot Hicks Field during day one of the Marshall Invitational. The Mastadons scored 10 first-inning runs in a 14-4 victory over the Golden Flashes, while the host Thundering Herd scored all of its runs in the second in a 3-2 win.
Freshman Kim Kirkpatrick (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) gave Kent State a 1-0 lead over Marshall with her second home run of the season in the game's second at bat.
The Herd took advantage of three bunt singles, two stolen bases and two Kent State errors in the second to put up all three of its runs. Freshman pitcher Emma Johnson (Groveport, Ohio) allowed only two hits after the second inning. She tossed all six innings and was charged with only one earned run.
A leadoff walk in the sixth by senior Shannon Laughlin (Fairview Park, Ohio) led to the Flashes' second run. Pinch runner Dani Ramos (South Euclid, Ohio) advanced twice on passed balls as the freshman speedster slid her hand just under the tag at the plate to cut the lead to 3-2. However, the Flashes could not bring Sara Chance (Westerville, Ohio) home from second.
In the Flashes' opener, IPFW put its first two batters aboard, before junior Danielle Abernathy (Adairsville, Ga.) retired the next two. From that point forward everything began to unravel as the Mastadons collected five more hits, three walks and a hit-by-pitch, all with two outs, scoring 10 runs. The final two runs of the inning came after an hour rain delay.
Through the first four innings, Kent State left eight runners on base without bringing a run home, leaving the bases loaded in the third and fourth. All four of the Flashes' runs came in the fifth when they trailed 14-0.
Sophomore Kim Morgason (Grove City, Ohio) brought home two runs in the fifth with a double. Junior Lauren Balodis (North Royalton, Ohio) singled in the fifth.
Kirkpatrick tallied hits in each game, while senior Mary Holt (Providence, R.I.) went 2-for-3 against IPFW.
The Golden Flashes (4-8) will play a rematch with IPFW Saturday at 9 a.m. On Sunday, Kent State will take on Bucknell at 10 a.m. followed by a game against Marshall.