UT falls in doubleheader
The University of Toledo softball team fell twice at the hands of the Kent State bats in a doubleheader Saturday at Scott Park. The Golden Flashes took advantage of ten Rocket errors and scored a total of 31 runs, defeating UT 11-1 and 20-9 in the two run-shortened matchups.
Between the two games, Kent State utilized three big innings of five, six and 12 runs to pull away from the Rockets (5-22; 1-3 MAC) in the second MAC series of the season.
Even though the Golden Flashes often held large leads, the Rockets refused to quit. Four players recorded multi-hit efforts in Game Two including Courtney McCarthy (2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI), Lindsey Tobias (3-for-3, HR, 2 RBI), Keri Gallagher (2-for-3, 2B) and Morgan Smith (2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI).
Kent State's offensive onslaught began early in Game One. The Golden Flashes struck for two in the opening frame on an RBI-double and an error, and added two more in the top of the second on an RBI-double to go ahead 4-0 through two. They then added an RBI-single in the third to go up five before striking for a big inning in their half of the fourth.
Two RBI-doubles, a two-run single and a sac fly piled on five runs for KSU in the fourth, while a solo home run in the fifth stretched the lead to 11-0 and forced the Rockets into their last at-bat. Toledo managed to take away the shutout as junior Kattie Palmer crossed the plate via a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth, but was unable to push across any more and fell 11-1 in five innings.
Game Two proved to be a barnburner, with Kent State plating 18 runs in the first two innings to make any Rocket rally a difficult task. The Rockets did manage to score nine runs, including a big five-run inning of their own, but were unable to cut down the insurmountable lead of the Golden Flashes.
In their first two at-bats, Kent State batted around in each inning, took advantage of seven Rocket errors and plated 18 runs on 13 hits.
After a six-run first inning by the Golden Flashes, Tobias was able to reduce the deficit with a two-run blast over the right field fence, her team-leading fifth of the season.
The top of the second proved to be the nail in the coffin, as KSU utilized a three-run home run, a two-run home run, a pair of two-run singles, a two-run double and an RBI-single to score 12 runs and jump ahead 18-2.
Toledo again tried to cut into the overwhelming lead in their half of the second. Smith smacked her first round-tripper of the season to deep center field, scoring Gallagher and reducing the lead to 18-4.
After another two-run home run by KSU in the third pushed the score to 20-4, the Rockets put together a big inning of their own in the bottom of the fourth.
Gallagher and Smith started the inning off with back-to-back singles. Palmer followed with a walk to load the bases and sophomore second baseman Becki Heimbigner drew a free pass of her own to plate Gallagher. The next batter, McCarthy, drove a double to deep left field to score Smith and Palmer and put two runners in scoring position without an out recorded. Sophomore designated player Erinn Wright brought Heimbigner home with an RBI-groundout and McCarthy scored on a wild pitch to cut the KSU lead down to 20-9.
Neither team scored in the fifth as the game went final after two hours and fifteen minutes, with Kent State prevailing 20-9 in the run-shortened game.
Next up, the Rockets will take on Youngstown State in a mid-week doubleheader on April 6. Following that UT will continue conference play as they take on Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan on April 8-10.
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