Pitt’s Zeremenko Sets Single-Season Home Run Record as Panthers Sweep Kent State

KENT, Ohio – Sophomore Giorgiana Zeremenko set a single-season home run record in Pitt’s sweep of Kent State Wednesdayafternoon at the Diamond at Dix in Kent, Ohio as the Panthers went on to beat the Golden Flashes 1-0 and 3-2, respectively.

Zeremenko, a Pittsburgh native, etched her name in to the record book as she put up her 16th long ball of the season in game two, marking the most home runs hit in a single-season in program history. Zeremenko surpasses Kelly Hmiel (2011) and Jacki Haar (2009), breaking a five-year old record.

“It’s an awesome accomplishment knowing that sticking to your approach and just working hard will pay off,” Zeremenko said. “I just need to keep having good at-bats and keep working hard to drive my pitch. Nothing too hard, nothing too special.”

In a close first game, senior Jenna Modic led Pitt to a 1-0 win as she scored the Panthers’ lone run of the game on a long ball in the fourth inning. Solid pitching by sophomore Kayla Harris and a great effort by the Panther defense held Kent State scoreless throughout the game.

Game two saw back-and-forth action through the first three innings of play before Zeremenko’s home run would give Pitt its lift to a 3-2 victory.

“The biggest thing about Giorgiana’s home run was that it helped us win that game,” head coach Holly Aprile said. “That’s huge. Her ability to hit the ball out of the park and her slugging percentage, those are difference makers and game changers. She’s continuing to have a great year.”

At the plate, freshman Olivia Gray and redshirt senior Shelby Pickett each produced three hits for the Panthers and crossed the plate to score for Pitt.

On the mound, Harris and freshman Sarah Dawson picked up the Panthers’ wins. All three pitchers, including Modic, had solid outings as they combined to hold Kent State to just two runs on the day.

Harris finished the afternoon with five strikeouts and shut out Kent State in game one, while Modic relieved Dawson in game two to earn the save, giving up no runs and striking out three.

“Everything came together today,” said Aprile. “Our pitching and defense came together and our offense came through when we needed it to. We now just need to continue having games like this.”

Game One: Pitt 1, Kent State 0
· After three scoreless innings, Pitt got on the board in the top of the fourth 1-0 as Modic hit a towering solo shot over the center field fence.
· Kent State threatened in the bottom of the fourth inning, as the home team loaded the bases twice but failed to capitalize.
· The Panthers would hold the Golden Flashes scoreless through the remainder of the game.

Game Two: Pitt 3, Kent State 2
· Pitt jumped on the board right away in the first as a leadoff single by Pickett and a sac bunt by redshirt senior Maggie Sevillawould set up a McKayla Taylor RBI-single to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
· Kent State answered in their half of the inning, scoring a single run to tie the game 1-1. Dawson hit the first batter she faced, who ultimately came around to score following a sac bunt and back-to-back singles to the outfield.
· Pitt regained a 2-1 lead in the top of the second as Gray would score from second on a double by Pickett. Gray picked up her third hit of the day with a single up the middle and then advanced a base when senior Kathryn Duran drew a walk. Pickett lined a ball down the left field line that would bring around Gray.
· Pitt extended its lead to 3-1 in the top of the third as Zeremenko hit her record breaking 16th home run over the center field wall.
· The Golden Flashes scored again in the bottom of the third to cut the Panthers’ lead to 3-2. Following a leadoff double by Maddy Grimm, two high fly balls to the outfield would allow her to tag up both times and score on the second.
· Modic would relieve Dawson on the mound for Pitt and hold Kent State scoreless for the rest of the game.

Up Next
· Pitt will have a week off before returning home to Vartabedian Field to host the defending ACC champion Florida State Seminoles for a three-game series beginning on Saturday, April 30.


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