Fourth-seeded Kent State lost to fifth-seeded Ohio 2-1 in the opening game of the Mid-American Conference Softball Championship on Wednesday at Firestone Stadium in Akron.
Pitching a complete game, sophomore Savannah Jo Dorsey (22-16) held the Golden Flashes (24-19) to eight hits and one earned run. She struck out 10 and walked two.
Freshman Casie Hutchinson provided just enough offense to help get the win. Hutchinson went 2-for-3 with two RBI in the game.
Kent State’s Emma Johnson (14-10) also struck out 10 while pitching a complete game but she walked eight. One walk haunted her.
In the third inning, Johnson walked freshman Taylor Saxton, who stole second. Hutchison singled up the middle to score Saxton and make it 1-0.
In the sixth, Ohio junior Dakota Pyles singled and a sacrifice bunt moved her to second. After a walk and a popout, Hutchinson delivered another RBI single.
The Flashes tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh, but came up short.
Junior Kim Kirkpatrick started the inning with a double to right-center, moved to third on a single by junior Dani Ramos and scored on a sacrifice fly by freshman Maddy Grimm. But the next two batters were retired and the game ended with Ramos stranded at first.
KSU will face Miami at 11 a.m. today in the losers’ bracket of the double-elimination tournament.
Zips fall to Chippewas
Mystery shrouded the University of Akron and Central Michigan University softball teams Wednesday at Firestone Stadium.
The sixth-seeded Chippewas (33-20), perennial MAC title contenders, and the growing Zips (27-15), didn’t play in the regular season because Mother Nature rained on their two-game series.
The mystery ended as two solid pitchers dueled it out. The Chippewas came away with a 2-0 win as Central’s Rachael Knapp (14-4, 2.04 ERA) notched the two-hit, complete-game shutout, beating MAC Pitcher of the Year Erin Seiler (20-8, 1.84 ERA).
In the end, one Seiler mistake was the difference.
Tied at the top of the fourth inning, Chippewas shortstop CarolAnn Sexauer led off the inning with a single, beating out a throw to the bag. A sacrifice bunt from third baseman Trista Cox moved her to second. Then Cory DeLamilleure punched a bomb over the left center-field fence to take a 2-0 lead.
That was all Knapp needed as Zips bats couldn’t find the ball. The top of the lineup hit a combined 2-of-10. Seiler pitched well enough to win, notching a complete game, but Knapp just had more behind her.
George M. Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.