Softball goes 1-4 over weekend; earns big win over Pittsburgh

Jacob Hansen, Sports Editor

Kent State’s softball team lost three of its four games in the Thundering Herd Round Robin, earning its only victory against the University of Pittsburgh.

“It was a big win on a lot of different levels,” coach Eric Oakley said. “Obviously anytime you beat a Power Five team that’s big to beat a regional power five team, you know the team that we recruit against that’s good.”

Kent State surrendered 27 runs and 38 hits over the weekend, while only scoring 14 runs on 24 hits.

The Flashes now sit at 5-13 on the season.

Game one

The first game of the weekend ended in a 6-5 loss to Morehead State.

“We were a little slow coming around,” Oakley said. “We weren’t having good at-bats.”

Morehead State took the first lead in the third inning off an RBI-double to left field. The Eagles then tacked on another run in the fourth to extend their lead 2-0.

Three scoreless innings came and went until the Flashes offense put up five runs in the top of the seventh inning.

Freshman catcher Bri Despines drove in KSU’s first run of the game off an RBI-double, scoring senior infielder Julia Mazanec. Sophomore Savannah Wing drove in Despines in the very next at-bat with a double to right field. The game was now tied at 2-2.

Freshman outfielder Carley Penner then scored off a passed ball after pinch running for Wing. KSU then had a 3-2 lead.

Sophomore Delaney Robeson hit a two-run homer to left field, scoring junior catcher Emily Lippe to extend the lead 5-2.

Morehead State then tied the game up in the bottom half of the seventh on two hits and capitalized off of three KSU errors. The Eagles walked it off in the ninth off an RBI-groundout to take the victory.

Game two

Kent State had little to show for in the second game of the weekend in an 8-1 loss against Marshall University. 

The Bison started the match with three runs on four hits. One of those hits was a two run homer to left field, giving the team an early 3-0 lead. 

Marshall tacked on three more runs in the third inning. It started with two-straight singles followed by a triple to score the two runners home. The triple was followed by a sacrifice bunt for another run. The mascot here had a 6-0 lead. 

Mazanec scored Kent State’s only run in the sixth inning with an infield single. She stole second base and then reached third on a passed ball, where freshman Brynn Libler brought her in on an RBI-groundout. 

Marshall led the bottom of the sixth off with a triple and three batters later was brought home on a single. An RBI-double scored another, extending the lead 8-1. 

The Bison totaled 11 hits in the game and struck out 14 batters. KSU had three hits.

Game three

The Flashes handed Pittsburgh its fifth loss of the season in a 6-3 victory on Sunday. The Panthers came into the matchup with an 11-4 record on the year.

“On a personal level that’s a friend of mine that coaches that team,” Oakley said. “The former head coach of Ohio and it’s always fun to go up against your friends and win.”

The game remained scoreless until the fourth inning, where Lippe hit a two-run home run to left field to give KSU a 2-0 lead. Wing also scored on the play. 

Kent State added another run in the fifth. Mazanec was hit by a pitch and then scored off a double from Despines, extending the lead 3-0. 

Pitt tied the game in the bottom half of the fifth on five hits, scoring three runs to tie the game at 3-3. 

The Flashes secured the victory in the last inning of the game, scoring three runs in the seventh. KSU loaded the bases and scored two after Wing and Lippe both drew bases-loaded walks. Robeson scored Despines on an infield single to take the victory. 

Kent State outhit the Panthers by just 8-7 and had three errors. 

Game four 

The Flashes wrapped up the weekend on the same day with a 10-2 loss in their second matchup against Marshall.

Kent State took the lead early off an RBI-single from Lippe, scoring Despines in the first inning.

Marshall quickly responded, taking the lead in the bottom half of the first with two runs on two hits and an error. Marshall led 2-1.

KSU loaded the bases when Despines brought home junior outfielder Jade Ramer, tying the game at two in the second inning. After the inning, it was all Marshall.

The Bison scored one run in the third inning, four in the fourth inning and three in the fifth, resulting in the mercy rule.

MU totaled 12 hits in the game to KSU’s five.

Kent State will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan to play two games against both the University of Michigan and Georgia Southern University in the Michigan Round Robin.

Game one’s first pitch against Michigan is 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

“I’ve been pretty happy with how we’ve done,” Oakley said. “I know, we’re only up to 30 as a team, but I do think we have individuals who are really coming along. And I feel confident that we’ll be getting the Mac play. We’ll be okay offensively. The bigger concerns right now on the pitch.”

Jacob Hansen is sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]