The second-seeded Kent State softball team faces a long, uphill battle at the Mid-American Conference Tournament after dropping its opener to No. 7 seed Toledo 4-2 on Wednesday at Firestone Stadium.

The Rockets (24-25) hit three home runs off Golden Flashes ace pitcher Andrea Scali (19-8), who lost to a MAC opponent for just the second time this season. Scali gave up four homers to conference foes in 76 2/3 innings during the regular season, and was coming off a perfect game against Bowling Green on Saturday.

“We can't expect Andrea to throw a perfect game every time,” KSU coach Eric Oakley said. “We've got to be able to score more runs.”

Scali went the distance, allowing five hits and four walks and striking out 11.

“Andrea will be the first to take responsibility for any ball that went out of the park,” Oakley said. “She's done a great job to get us where we are. It's the MAC Tournament. We've got to score more runs than that.”

Kent State (25-22) hit two home runs off Toledo's Erin Hunt (12-11), who allowed just three hits overall and did not walk a batter while striking out five.

Kaitlyn Miller and Bailey Brownfield each hit a solo homer for the Flashes. The Rockets countered with a two-run shot by Aubrey Reed and solo home runs by Katie Cozy and Kaitlyn Bergman. Toledo never trailed after Reed went deep in the second inning.

“Our players know that this was unacceptable, and they missed an opportunity,” Oakley said. “Kudos to Toledo. They came out and focused on playing us, and we were apparently thinking about other things. That's what our players were saying [after the game]. We played a bad game.

“Now we’ve got to put this one behind us. We've got a long road.”

Kent State will face No. 6 seed Ball State (34-19) in an elimination game at 6 p.m. Thursday.