Flashes Blank Coastal Carolina and Fall 1-0 to No. 24 USF
TAMPA, Fla.- For the second straight day, Kent State was on both ends of shutouts Saturday at the USF Invitational. Behind the efforts of freshman Emma Johnson (Groveport, Ohio), the Golden Flashes (11-13) blanked Coastal Carolina 3-0, before No. 24 USF pulled out a 1-0 victory against a solid performance from sophomore Danielle Abernathy (Adairsville, Ga.).
"Both Emma and Danielle pitched well," Head Coach Karen Linder said. "Our pitching and defense were excellent today."
Johnson threw her second shutout of the weekend. She struck out eight and walked two. She scattered six hits and stranded two runners in the third and two in the fourth, dropping the Chanticleers to 21-7 on the year.
The Flashes broke a scoreless tie against Coastal Carolina in the third with two-out singles from sophomore Abbey Ledford (West Liberty, Ohio) and senior Jess Blanton (Wheelersburg, Ohio).
Blanton later started a two-run rally in the sixth with a single to center. The next batter, senior Mary Holt (Providence, R.I.) ripped an RBI double to left center. Senior Shannon Laughlin (Fairview Park, Ohio) made it three hits in a row with an RBI double to right center.
Blanton went 3-for-3 in the opener with an RBI and threw out a runner attempting to steal second.
Despite being held to one hit against USF, Kent State had a scoring opportunity in the second as an error put a runner on second for Laughlin, who singled up the middle. However, an accurate throw from center field got the out at home plate.
"In both games we had our seniors: Jess, Mary and Shannon come through for us at the plate," Linder said.
South Florida's run came in the fifth on a slap hit over the infielder's heads.
Bulls starter Sam Greiner and reliever Sara Nevins combined on the shutout.
The Golden Flashes close out their five-game weekend Sunday at 9 a.m. against Providence.