Bowling Green Assistant Athletics Director for Athletic Communications Jason Knavel will be blogging during the softball team's trip to Akron for the MAC Tournament. Follow along here throughout day one of the tournament.
11:03 a.m. -- I've arrived at Firestone Stadium in Akron just in time for the first pitch of the game prior to BGSU/Kent State. No. 4 seed Ohio and No. 5 seed Central Michigan are playing and the Falcons will play one of these teams tomorrow. Keep checking back for the latest updates as the day rolls along!
11:25 a.m. -- Just a reminder that live stats that can be viewed online via the MAC Website. The game is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. and the MAC awards ceremony will follow afterwards in which the league will name the All-MAC Team, the All-Freshman Team, and various Player of the Year specialty awards. We'll have a complete release on any BGSU honorees on BGSUFalcons.com later this evening.
12:35 p.m. - Both Kent State and BG softball teams arrived at Firestone Stadium in the last 15 minutes. The first three innings of the opening game flew by but it has slowed considerably since the start of the fourth inning. Both Ohio and Central Michigan have left the bases loaded at times but CMU has built a 7-3 lead. Although Coach Salsburg was conversing with Kent State Coach Karen Linder for a few minutes, there is no truth to the rumor that Salsburg is going to fill out Kent State's lineup and Linder is going to do the same for BG. It would, however, make for an interesting ballgame.
1:14 p.m. - We are set for a 1:35 p.m. start time now. Central Michigan defeated Ohio 9-5 in the opener so the winner of this game will play CMU tomorrow and the loser will play OU. Starting lineup for the Falcons today looks like this -- Fulk (ss), Proehl (rf), Coffey (lf), Berger (2b), Sontag (dp), Lines (p), Bowman (1b), L. Arney (cf), Dick (c).
1:48 p.m. - Hannah Fulk, who leads the MAC in walks, tried to earn another one to lead off the game. She had the count full and took what appeared by most to be ball four. She got rung up though and KSU pitcher Kylie Reynolds, one of the best pitchers in the MAC, went on to strike out the side -- all three looking. We've got a WIDE strike zone in the early going.
2:00 p.m. - Kent State has apparently figured out the mystery that is Zada Lines. Lines threw a one-hitter against the Golden Flashes Sunday but three of the first four batters have hits today and Kent State leads 1-0 early and is threatening to add to that.
2:07 p.m. - Zada Lines worked around trouble in the first to give up just one run. Kent State had bases loaded with one out and got a batter to foul out to third and then picked up a strikeout on full count with two outs.
2:13 p.m. - Kylie Reynolds has nasty stuff as a pitcher. I'd like to know how many catcher's mitts they've gone through this year because she is popping the mitt with some of these pitches. But she's also just wild enough that she keeps you on your toes. She's thrown one pitch off the backstop and been a bit inconsistent in finding the strike zone, but when she does, she's tough to hit. That being said, Zada Lines breaks up any thoughts of a no-hitter with a two-out single. Lines has been the hottest hitter on the team lately and has hits in nine of her last 14 at-bats. Despite that, Reynolds gets out of the frame and gets another strike out looking for her fourth in the first two innings.
2:29 p.m. - BGSU struggled defensively during the bottom of the second, throwing the ball around and letting runners advance. When the dust settled, Kent State scored three runs to take a 4-0 lead. Karmen Coffey finally stopped the bleeding with a tough catch right in front of the left field fence for the third out.
2:39 p.m. - BG threatened in the top of the third as Lindsey Arney reached on an infield single, followed by Hannah Fulk reaching on a fielder's choice when the shortstop chose to try to record an out at second and was late on the throw. After that, Rachel Proehl had an excuse-me infield single to load the bases. But Karmen Coffey struck out swinging and Paige Berger lined out to short to end the threat.
2:47 p.m. - Amy Hair hits a one-out bomb for Kent State to give the Golden Flashes a 5-0 lead. Coach Shannon Salsburg went to Melissa Bott in the pitching circle after that at-bat and Bott promptly retired two straight batters to get through the third.
3:02 p.m. - In 1 2/3 innings pitched, Melissa Bott has looked really good. She's given up just one walk and Kent State hasn't gotten the ball out of the infield. The Falcons, though, are running out of time to rally. Three innings left and down 5-0.
3:24 p.m. - Kent State scores three times in the bottom of the fifth to pick up the 8-0 win. We'll have plenty more on BGSUFalcons.com later, including All-MAC announcements.