Kent State pitcher Brittney Robinson brings the heat against Youngstown State during yesterday’s game. The Flashes won the first game against the Penguins after going into eight innings to break a tie of 4-4.
Credit: Andrew popik
In an afternoon doubleheader, Kent State softball swept Youngstown State (10-12) in extra innings.
The Flashes (12-13, 2-1 Mid-American Conference) won the first game 5-4 and the second game 1-0.
The Flashes got off to a rough start in the first game, giving up three runs in the first two innings. Freshman pitcher Keir McEachern gave up a home run to Youngstown State’s first batter and then two more earned runs.
She did not last after that in an uncharacteristic performance. Kent State coach Karen Linder said she has been pleased with McEachern’s play. McEachern has the team’s only winning record at 5-1. McEachern was named the MAC East Pitcher of the Week.
The Flashes still managed to come back for the tie, scoring three runs in the third inning and one in the fourth, which sent the game into an eighth inning.
Because of the international tiebreaker rule, each team was allowed a pinch runner on second base when their at-bat began. The Flashes used the rule to their advantage in both games.
Junior second baseman Ashley Ball scored the winning run of the first game when she scored off of sophomore first baseman Megan Verde’s sacrifice fly. Freshman shortstop Jessica Toocheck’s sacrifice fly in the second game brought pinch runner Julie Kemesky home for another eighth-inning win.
Kent State was able to get to extra innings in the first game because of sophomore pitcher Brittney Robinson. Robinson, who replaced McEachern in the second, held Youngstown State back for the next 14 innings. She won the first then came back to win the second.
Robinson “has been a little up and down, but she was consistent today,” Linder said.
Robinson only gave up one run in the first game and none in the second. She gave up two hits in the first game and successfully pitched a no-hitter in the second game.
“She got into a good rhythm,” Linder said, “and it helped her confidence. It made a difference, and the team played good defense behind her.”
The second game went on without a hit from either team until the bottom of the fifth. Senior third baseman Jodi Stevens singled up the middle for the game’s first hit, followed with a single by freshman left fielder Corey Houk. Both runners were left on base with the only two hits of the whole game.
The second game remained scoreless until Toocheck’s game-winning sacrifice fly to center field.
The Flashes will travel to Moon Township, Pa., to play a doubleheader tomorrow against Robert Morris.
Contact softball reporter Kali Price at [email protected]