Lauer pitches Kent State baseball to win; softball team splits double-header

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Staff and wire report

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Pitcher Eric Lauer set the momentum on the mound for Kent State, while the team's offense found enough pop to score an 8-6 road win over the College of Charleston on Friday.

"He had really good stuff tonight and that helped our offense," Kent State first-year head coach Jeff Duncan said.

Kent State (8-6) plated the game's first run in the fourth inning when Cody Koch was walked with the bases loaded, forcing in Justin Wagler for the free score from third base. Wagler had led off the inning with a double.

The Flashes capitalized on a similar arrangement in the sixth inning when Zarley Zalewski led off with a double, then scored when Tommy Monnot coaxed a bases-loaded walk. It gave KSU a 2-0 lead.

After Jon Wilson hit a shot that just barely went foul at the top of the wall down the right field line, he followed up with a base hit up the middle to make it a 4-0 game.

The College of Charleston found an answer in its half of the sixth, which had been held to just one hit in the game's first five innings. The Cougars scored a pair of runs in the sixth to cut their deficit to 4-2.

Kent State padded its lead in the seventh after two walks and a RBI single by Koch and a two-run single by Monnot.

KSU's lead became 8-2 in the eighth when Alex Miklos singled, stole two bases and came home on a passed ball.

The Cougars were able to plate four runs in the bottom of the ninth to make things interesting, but KSU reliever Eric Dorsch entered the game to close the door on the Flashes' victory.

"We took a step forward today as a team," Duncan said. "They responded well after last weekend and that's huge."

KSU SOFTBALL EARNS SPLIT IN LOUISVILLE

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- It was one up and one down for the Kent State softball team on Friday at the Class Act Federal Credit Union Classic in Louisville, Ky.

The Flashes dominated Iowa State in the opener for a 13-4 win, then narrowly lost to host Louisville 2-1.

The 13 runs by KSU (11-8) against the Cyclones was a season-high and came in only six innings on 12 hits.

And they got thing rocking right from the start, scoring five runs in the first inning.

Junior Kim Kirkpatrick was hit by a pitch to start the game, then scored on a triple by junior Dani Ramos.

Freshman Maddy Grimm was then hit by a pitch and stole second. A throwing error on the stolen base allowed Grimm to advance to third and Ramos to come home. The next two batters walked to load the bases, setting up RBI singles by seniors Kim Morgason and Jessacca Gironda. Junior Ariele Patterson also brought home a run when she was hit by a pitch.

The Flashes' lead reached 8-0 before the Cyclones could get on the scoreboard. Grimm launched her fifth home run of the season in the second, while Patterson and sophomore Lauren Kesterson drove in runs in the third and fourth, respectively.

Kent State's bats cooled in the second game of the day, as the team managed to push just one run across the plate on six hits. Abbey Ledford drove in a run in the top of the fifth with a double for the team's only run of the game. Ledford collected two hits against the Cards.

Junior Emma Johnson (6-4) was the losing pitcher despite not allowing an earned run.

Johnson had five strikeouts and allowed just four hits, but a throwing error that led to a pair of Louisville runs in the fourth inning proved to be the difference.

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