Errors take effect before softball strikes back

Colin Harris

Team salvages doubleheader split with Western Michigan

Third baseman Tashia Oliver misses a line drive during the sixth inning of the first game yesterday. The Golden Flashes had four errors during the sixth inning and gave up six runs.

Credit: Andrew popik

Things were going so well for the Kent State softball team in the first game of its doubleheader against Western Michigan.

Then in the first game, the sixth inning happened.

The Flashes were in control after sophomore Jessica Kramb scored on a Sarah Durkalski double in the second, and a two-run home run, the first in sophomore Lauren Ellis’ career, in the third gave the Flashes a 3-0 lead.

Things fell apart in the sixth inning, however, as Western Michigan posted six runs, mostly because of three errors by the Flashes. With starting pitcher Brittney Robinson in trouble with the bases loaded after two singles, a dropped foul ball and a walk, Western Michigan’s Danielle Daughtry doubled to left, scoring three runs and putting the Broncos up for good.

The Flashes attempted to mount a comeback in the bottom of the seventh, scoring two runs, thanks largely to three errors by the Broncos. But it wasn’t enough, as Western Michigan won, 6-5.

Kent State coach Karen Linder said the sixth inning was a result of one mistake being allowed to turn into many.

“When we make one mistake, the problem is that one snowballs into two and then into three. We have to say ‘enough,’” Linder said. “One mistake is not going to hurt you, but when we start making two or three in a row, that’s when it will hurt you.”

Things turned out much better for the Flashes in game two, however, as a great pitching performance by freshman Keir McEachern and a timely display of power by game one pitcher Robinson gave the Flashes a 1-0 victory.

With the game tied at zero in the bottom of the sixth, Robinson, who was pinch hitting for senior Julie Kemesky, homered to center field. Robinson gave the Flashes a one-run lead they would not relinquish, thanks to McEachern’s strong performance.

McEachern pitched a complete game, scattering four hits and giving up no runs. Her record improved to 6-2.

Linder said that while the team played well in the second game, they could have had a similar result in game one if they improved one aspect of their performance.

“I think we played six very good innings in the first game,” Linder said. “In the second, Keir pitched a very good game and we were fortunate that Brittney had a clutch hit for us, but we only had three hits. What the difference was in the second game was that we played very good defense. We actually hit the ball much better in the first game.”

Contact softball reporter Colin Harris at [email protected].