Litumbe, Coleman with two homers in win over Owls

Georgia State softball appears to be back to its old form as the Panthers won its third consecutive game by defeating the Kennesaw State Owls by a final score of 12-4 from Bailey Park in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Panthers record now stands at 26-15 on the season. Next on the schedule for Georgia State is a three-game home weekend series against Appalachian State beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, part of Panther Family Day.

Georgia State wasted no time getting things going with five runs in the top of the first. Taylor Anderson was hit by a pitch, then Ashley Christy drew a walk. Ivie Drake clubbed a three-run homer, clearing the bases and giving the Panthers a 3-0 lead. Megan Litumbe and Lauren Coleman also hit home runs in the opening frame, increasing Georgia State’s lead to 5-0.

That lead became 9-0 in the top of the third. Callie Alford was hit by a pitch before Coleman’s second home run of the game scored her and Alford as the Panthers’ advantage became 7-0. Mandy Blackwell then reached base on a Kennesaw State error before Kensey Caldwell hit a two-run homer as Georgia State led 9-0 over the Owls.

Junior Kennesaw State outfielder Rachel Dennis led off the bottom of the third with a single before sophomore infielder Taylor Denton hit a bunt single as Dennis moved to second. With runners at second and third, junior infielder Megan Veringa’s two-RBI single plated Dennis and Denton, as the Owls cut the Georgia State lead to 9-2.

In the bottom of the fifth, Denton, redshirt sophomore catcher Courtney Sutter and Veringa began the frame with back-to-back-to-back singles, loading the bases. Junior utility player Hilary Kartman flied out as Denton scored, making the score 9-3.

The Panthers got two runs back in the top of the sixth as Drake led off with a single and Litumbe’s second home run scored herself and Drake, growing Georgia State’s lead to 11-3.

With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Dennis doubled, then senior outfielder Natalie Rhodes reached on a fielder’s choice. Denton singled home Dennis from second as Kennesaw State made it an 11-4 game, preventing a loss via the run rule.

Caldwell doubled, leading off the top of the second before Anderson got Caldwell home with an RBI single as the Panthers grew the lead to 12-4.

Kennesaw State was retired in order in the bottom of the seventh as Georgia State completed its third consecutive victory.