Flashes can’t pull out third straight comeback victory

Kali Price

Kent State catcher Ashley Fairhurst picks up a Toledo player’s bunted ball and gets ready to throw to first base. The Flashes ended their winning streak against Toledo when the Rockets won 5-2 yesterday afternoon.

Credit: Kali Price

An almost six-hour long doubleheader Saturday left Kent State softball worn out for yesterday’s game.

The Flashes (19-21, 7-6 Mid-American Conference) went 2-1 in this weekend’s three-game series with Toledo (20-22, 5-11 MAC).

After two comeback wins Saturday, the Flashes were unable to keep the momentum going to sweep Toledo, as they fell 5-2.

“It was a little bit up and down,” Kent State coach Karen Linder said. “I don’t think we played great defense, but Toledo did well.”

The game went scoreless until the top of the third. The Flashes gave up six hits and four runs and also picked up two errors. Sophomore pitcher Brittney Robinson was able to come in and end the inning with a strikeout.

The highlight of the weekend lasted 11 innings in Saturday’s come-from-behind win in the first game.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Flashes were down 4-0, but freshman shortstop Jessica Toocheck’s home run to center field brought the score to 4-2. The game went into extra innings after Robinson hit a two-run homer to tie the game at four.

Toocheck led off the Flashes in the bottom of the 11th inning and hit her second home run of the game to end it 5-4.

“It was exciting to come back like that,” Linder said. “It’s a confidence booster to know you can come back like we did.”

In Saturday’s second game, Toledo pulled ahead by one in the first, but after giving up two hits and one run that inning, freshman pitcher Keir McEachern was able to hold the Rockets for the rest of the game.

The Flashes came from behind again in the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore first baseman Megan Verde hit a solo homer to left-center. The Flashes scored their second run of the game after freshman designated hitter Jamie Fitzpatrick doubled and senior third baseman Jodi Stevens scored on an error

by Toledo.

McEachern ended Saturday’s doubleheader with her seventh strikeout of the game to win the game for the Flashes 2-1.

“We had a good day defensively,” Linder said. “We were able to come through.”

Only giving up four hits and no walks during the game, McEachern’s record improved to 7-2. McEachern has 43 strikeouts this season and leads the team with a 2.17 ERA.

In her four innings yesterday, Robinson gave up three hits and one run. Robinson also added seven strikeouts to her season total of 135.

“Brittney has been more consistent and more confident,” Linder said.

Linder said Robinson’s confidence was boosted by her no-hitter against Youngstown State March 29.

Regardless of Robinson’s performance, the Flashes were unable to help offensively yesterday.

“(Toledo) played great defense,” Linder said.

The Flashes showed signs of coming back after Verde’s second home run of the weekend to begin the fourth. It was her fourth home run of the year.

But the Flashes didn’t score again until the bottom of the sixth.

Contact softball reporter Kali Price at [email protected].