Flashes swept by Pitt in doubleheader

Junior infielder Maddy Grimm smashes the ball in the second game of a double header against the University of Pittsburgh Wednesday April 20, 2016. The Flashes lost 1-0 in the first game and 3-2 in the second.

Nick Buzzelli

If there’s one Power Five school that the Kent State softball team has had continued success against, it’s been the University of Pittsburgh.

Over the course of its 40-year history, the  Flashes own a .636 winning percentage over the Panthers and are 7-1 all-time at home against the Atlantic Coast Conference program.

But that changed Wednesday afternoon.

Pitt extended its series winning streak to three consecutive games via 1-0 and 3-2 victories over Kent State at the Diamond at Dix in a non-conference doubleheader.

Game one was a pitching duel between Kent State’s junior Ronnie Ladines and Pitt’s Kayla Harris. After surrendering a base hit to Maggie Sevilla in the first, Ladines struck out the next three hitters in order.

However, Pitt’s Jenna Modic took the right-hander deep in the fourth for a solo home run, tallying the only run of the game.

Kent State had a chance to knot the score in the bottom half of the inning after sophomore Holly Speers reached base on a walk with one out. Senior, Shelbi Tilton then smacked a base hit to left, moving Speers into scoring position and the next batter, Ladines, singled to load the bases.

Following senior Michele Duffy fielder’s choice, Pitt elected to get Speers out at home on the force play, preserving its lead.

The Flashes still had the bases loaded, though. Interim head coach Eric Oakley elected to have junior Maddy Grimm, Kent State’s RBI leader, pinch hit for junior Nicole Teefy, but Grimm fouled out to end the inning.

Kent State only had two more baserunners the remainder of the game. Ladines, the lone bright spot for the Flashes, picked up two of her team’s three hits while striking out three in seven innings of work.

In the second game, the offensive came alive for Kent State. Somewhat.

Trailing in the bottom of the first, the Flashes knotted the score at one courtesy of a Tilton RBI single to left and added one more run in the third after Ladine’s sacrifice fly scored Grimm. But it was not enough to put away the Panthers.

Kent State resumes Mid-American Conference play Friday at home against Buffalo.

Nick Buzzelli is a sports reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].