Flashes’ comeback effort against Pitt falls short despite Speers grand slam

Kent State junior Sydney Anderson rounds the bases as Pitt shortstop Olivia Gray catches a fly ball during the Flashes’ 6-4 loss on April 18, 2018.

Chad Flannery

Kent State took the field against Pittsburgh with an almost entirely different lineup than usual.

None of the regular starters were in the lineup; instead, Kent State relied on their reserves to start the game.

The Kent State softball team lost, 6-4, against Pittsburgh (23-16-1, 11-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) despite a valiant comeback attempt.

The first four innings were all Pittsburgh.

The Panthers were able to jump out to an early lead in the first inning after a wild pitch by Kent State’s Kristyn Eckl allowed a run to score.

In the third, Pittsburgh would capitalize on another mistake by Kent State (20-19, 6-8 Mid-American Conference), this time a fielding error, to make the score 2-0.

The Panthers would also add four runs in the fourth, thanks to a three-run home run by McKayla Taylor and another fielding error by the Flashes, which allowed a run to score.

In the sixth, Kent State would make a dent in the lead.

With the bases loaded, Holly Speers came in as a pinch hitter and sent a grand slam to left field to cut the lead to two.

After preventing the Panthers from scoring in the top half of the seventh, pinch hitter Allie Luther came up to the plate for the Flashes with two outs and a chance to tie the game. She would end up flying out to left field, ending Kent State’s hopes of a comeback.

Eckl (0-2) received the loss on the mound after tossing 3.1 innings and allowing five runs on four hits, while walking three batters. Brenna Brownfield had a solid outing in relief of Eckl, throwing 3.2 innings and only allowing one run, which was unearned.

Kent State returns to the Diamond at Dix for a three-game weekend series against conference foe Buffalo. First pitch for the game one is Friday at 3 p.m.

Chad Flannery is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].