Late-inning homer dooms Flashes

Deanna Stevens

Even with a fifth-inning offensive explosion, the Kent State softball team could not hold off Bowling Green in a 7-6 loss yesterday.

While the Flashes (21-10, 1-2 Mid-American Conference) had a five-run burst in the fifth inning, they were unable to stop the Falcons’ (10-15, 4-0 MAC) seven-run streak in the sixth and seventh innings.

A two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning by Bowling Green freshman infielder Desiree Miller led to a game-defining change in momentum.

“The home run their kid hit, Desi Miller, changed the momentum,” Kent State coach Karen Linder said. “We didn’t respond.”

The game-winning run came off an error on the part of the Flashes. After a two-run homer by Falcon Hayley Wiemer, the Flashes were leading 6-5 in the top of the seventh. Senior catcher Abby Habicht hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to bring in the tying run.

An overthrow to home plate left the ball in the dugout, and sophomore first baseman Allison Vallas took home to give the Falcons their first and final lead of the game.

Linder said the Flashes hit the ball well, but the errors on defense ended up costing them the game. She added the all-around talent of the Falcons did not make the game easy.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Flashes took the lead with five runs on four hits. Sophomore shortstop Jessica Toocheck began the scoring with a home run to center field, which brought home fellow sophomore Kim Hamilton.

The home run was Toocheck’s third this season and her second run of the game. The first run came in the bottom of the third when she stole home.

A Bowling Green pitching change was unable to stop Kent State. Sophomore Jamie Fitzpatrick continued the Flashes’ home run streak, with another two-run homer. Fitzpatrick pushed the lead to five runs on her eighth home run of the year.

Senior second basemen Ashley Ball ended the long-ball marathon for the Flashes with her fourth home run of the season.

Pitching for the Flashes was Gabrielle Burns, Brittney Robinson and Erin Christopher. Christopher posted her fourth loss of the season. The Falcons also had three pitchers, but Emily Couge received the win for the game.

The Flashes were also defeated by the Falcons Saturday, by a score of 10-8.

Kent State will play a doubleheader at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Pittsburgh.

Contact softball reporter Deanna Stevens at [email protected].