Feb. 8, 2014
Long Beach, Calif. - Darian Tautalafua's two-run double in the fourth inning staked Long Beach State to a 2-1 lead, but Kent State was able to answer in the fifth as the 49ers dropped the first of two games with Kent State 3-2 in the Long Beach Mizuno Invitational.
Kent State (5-0) was lifted by a strong pitching performance from Emma Johnson, who held the 49er bats at bay for most of the game. Both teams moved through the first two innings scoreless, before the Golden Flashes took the lead in the third inning.
Erin Jones-Wesley hit the leadoff batter of the inning, and that runner came around to score on an RBI groundout by Maddy Grimm.
Long Beach State (2-2) took advantage of some momentary wildness from Johnson in the fourth inning. After Hannah De Gaetano reached base on a hit by pitch, Karly Sandoval drew a walk, and Ashley Holmes loaded the bases with an infield single. Tautalafua then made Kent State pay with a double down the left field line, scoring a pair to give the 49ers the lead.
The leadoff batter was what harmed Jones-Wesley again in the fifth inning. After a single and a sacrifice, Kim Kirkpatrick doubled to tie the game, and then a successful double steal following another sacrifice and a walk allowed Kent State to take the lead.
Johnson held the 49ers hitless through the sixth and seventh, and captured the win for Kent State.
Long Beach State closes out the tournament Sunday with a rematch with the Golden Flashes beginning at 10 a.m. at the 49er Softball Complex.
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