Flashes Finish 3-2 on Weekend Following Loss at Maryland
COLLEGE PARK, Md.- Kent State put 11 runners on base Sunday but could not get on the scoreboard in a 5-0 loss against tournament host Maryland to close out its three-day weekend. The Golden Flashes (9-11) smacked five hits and drew five walks against Terrapin ace Kendra Knight, who improved to 11-2 on the year.
"We've played good teams every weekend, which is keeping us on our toes," Head Coach Karen Linder said. "And we're playing at a higher level because of it."
Going 3-2 at the Maryland Round Robin, both Kent State losses came against the Terrapins. After defeating the Flashes 2-1 on Saturday evening, Maryland struck first again on Sunday with three runs in the second inning.
A Kent State error in the outfield led to three unearned runs in the second. The Terps (16-6) also took advantage of three walks in the second and scored all three times with two outs. It was Kent State's only error of the five-game weekend.
"Our infield played really well," Linder said. "They stepped it up notch from the previous weekends and played with consistency."
In the top half of the second, a double by Shannon Laughlin (Fairview Park, Ohio) and a single by Alex Marcantonio (North Canton, Ohio) put runners on the corners with no outs, but three consecutive strikeouts ended the threat.
The Flashes put two runners on in the third, before Lauren Grimes (Tallmadge, Ohio) was caught stealing for the third out. The next inning, Kent State loaded the bases with one out, before Knight fanned two more batters.
"We did not have one clutch hit today," Linder said. "We need to be more consistent in all areas of the game."
Kent State put runners on in each of the last three innings as well, but could not provide run support for Emma Johnson (Groveport, Ohio). The right-handed freshman allowed two earned runs over six innings and struck out eight.
"Emma looked sharp this weekend," Linder said. "Emma, Danielle (Abernathy) and Lauren (McNeil) are all keeping us in games, but could all have better command at times."
Five different Flashes recorded hits Sunday.
"We really took control of the games we won this weekend," Linder said. "And at times, took control in both games against Maryland. We were right with them and now we have to find ways to win against teams like Maryland."
Kent State returns home for a few days, before heading south once again, this time for the South Florida Invitational March 16-18.