Feb. 9, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. -
Sophomore Emma Johnson fired a five-hitter and struck out 11 batters, and Kent State capitalized on Army errors to score four unearned runs as the Golden Flashes defeated the Black Knights, 5-2, Friday evening at Jane B. Moore Field in closing out the first day of competition at the Plainsman Invitational.
The Flashes never trailed, capitalizing on a throwing error to score their first run in the third inning, then added three runs in the fourth inning to boost their lead to 4-0. A walk, a sacrifice bunt and an infield popup produced two outs in the top of the fourth. A walk and a fielding error loaded the bases for Kent State in setting the stage for Lauren Kesteron, who ripped a bases-clearing double down the left field line.
Johnson kept Army off the scoreboard until the bottom of the fifth inning when the Black Knights scored on two hits. With one out, freshman Christian McKone beat out a bunt single and advanced to second on a groundout by Amanda Nguyen. McKone crossed the plate on classmate Kasey McCravey's RBI single to center field as Army drew to 4-1.
Kent State scored its lone earned run in the top of the seventh on pinch hitter's Caitie Kilbane's two-out RBI single to right field to push its lead to 5-1.
Army answered with a run in the home half of that frame when McCravey, who was 2-for-2 at the plate and drove in both of Army's runs, delivered McKone with her first collegiate double. With one out, McKone, 2-for-2, beat out an infield single followed by a strikeout looking. With two outs, McCravey delivered McKone for the second time in the game, but was thrown out at third trying to stretch her double to a triple.
Sophomore right-hander Morgan Lashley (0-2) suffered the hard-luck loss going the distance on a five hitter, struck out six and issued four walks.
McCravey and McKone each collected a pair of hits as the Black Knights late inning rallies fell short in both games the opening day of the invitational. McKone (3-for-6) collected a hit in the first two games against Furman and Kent State to lead the Black Knights with a .500 batting average, and juniors Marina Northup and April Ortenzo are next each going 2-for-5 batting .400.
Army will look to bounce back with a pair of games Saturday against Austin Peay at 5:30 p.m. and East Tennessee at 8 p.m. CENTRAL TIME or 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET.
Live stats for each game will be available via GameTracker by logging onto Army's official website at www.goARMysports.com. For detailed in-game updates, follow Army softball on twitter @Army_WSoftball.
DIAMOND NOTES: Though Army is 0-2 the opening day of the Plainsman Invitational, the Black Knights show a .278 batting average to their opponents .209 mark after outhitting them 15-9 ... it is the second straight game three freshmen were in Army's lineup - Kasey McCravey at third base, Paige Vallejos as the designated player, and Christian McKone in center field ... Army scored three of its four runs in the seventh inning.