The Kent State softball team won both games in its home opening doubleheader yesterday, winning 10-2 and 7-2 over Robert Morris at Kent State Softball Field, aided by 6 home runs on the day.
The Flashes (17-7) started out slow against the Colonials in the first game, failing to score a run in the first four innings, and falling behind 2-0 in the top of the fourth. The team came roaring back with a seven-run fifth inning, which included a grand slam from sophomore catcher Amy Hair.
Hair said the team can definitely improve by scoring runs more often earlier in its games.
“I think that we’re kind of slow to start sometimes, which is something we need to work on, but once we do get started we really keep going and going,” Hair said. “From there we kind of open it up, but we just need to learn to start early.”
The Flashes closed out the scoring with a three run sixth and held the Colonials scoreless after the fourth inning. Senior centerfielder Kim Hamilton also provided an offensive spark in the first game, going 2-4 and scoring two runs.
Senior pitcher Gabrielle Burns (8-3) started the first game for the Flashes giving up two runs on three hits.
Burns said that the pitching staff performed well, but the offense was the key to winning in the doubleheader.
“Our hitting was awesome,” Burns said. “Our pitching was strong, but it wasn’t our strongest (effort).”
Consistency on offense improved in the second game, in which the Flashes scored in four innings and hit five homeruns. Leading the way offensively was freshman third baseman Jess Carmichael who went 3-4 with two home runs.
Carmichael, senior shortstop Jessica Toocheck and senior first baseman Jamie Fitzpatrick hit consecutive home runs in Kent State’s four-run third inning, putting the Flashes up 5-0. Junior designated hitter Chelsey Jones also hit a home run in the sixth inning, pushing the lead to 7-0.
Sophomore pitcher Kylie Reynolds started the second game of the doubleheader, giving up two hits and no runs in five innings. Freshman pitcher Markie Pozzuto gave up two runs to Robert Morris in two innings of relief work.
Robert Morris recorded five hits in the game, two against Reynolds and three against Post, but never threatened to take the lead.
Coach Karen Linder said finding consistency on offense will be key to the team’s success as they enter Mid-American Conference play.
“I think when we start playing on a regular basis that we’ll develop a little more consistency within our hitting lineup,” Linder said. “That’s a hard thing to develop. It’s just a matter of having confidence.”
Kent State opens conference play Friday with a doubleheader against Bowling Green at Kent State Softball Field.
Contact sports reporter Thomas Gallick at [email protected]