Flashes End 3-Win Weekend with Victory over Providence
CLEARWATER, Fla.- Kent State came through when it needed to most, in a 3-2 victory over Providence Sunday at the USF Invitational. Timely hitting in the first two innings, base stealing, strong pitching and solid defense all played a role in the Golden Flashes (12-13) third win of the weekend.
Sophomore winning pitcher Lauren McNeil (Akron, Ohio) was nearly flawless through almost five innings, helping the Flashes hold a 3-0 lead. McNeil struck out six and did not surrender a hit through 4.2 frames, until a ball was hit right back at her, which struck her finger and went for an infield single.
Not expecting to be brought in on short notice, sophomore Danielle Abernathy (Adairsville, Ga.) took over and needed to face a few batters before settling in. After two runs came in, Abernathy pulled through with a big strikeout, leaving two runners on base.
The Friars threatened again in the sixth with a pair of singles and a walk, but Abernathy left the bases loaded. She then retired Providence 1-2-3 in the seventh to earn the save.
"That fifth and sixth inning was really key for us," Head Coach Karen Linder said. "Lauren was doing a phenomenal job and we responded well to the challenge of her having to leave the game. With the exception of one error, we played very good defense today."
Kent State's runs all came in the first two innings. Junior Lauren Grimes (Tallmadge, Ohio) hit the first of four KSU singles in the first, followed by a bunt single from Alex Marcantonio (North Canton, Ohio). Seniors Mary Holt (Providence, R.I.) and Lauren Mokler (Uniontown, Ohio) each had RBI hits in the first.
Freshman Dani Ramos (South Euclid, Ohio) led off the second with a single, stole second and scored on a single through the left side by Abbey Ledford (West Liberty, Ohio). Seven of the Flashes' nine hits came in the first two innings. Mokler went 2-for-3, while Marcantonio was 2-for-4 with a double.
The Golden Flashes will remain in the Sunshine State, gearing up for a game Wednesday night at Central Florida.