Flashes softball goes Buffalo hunting
Senior Mary Holt made a safe slide into second during the Flashes' game against Eastern Michigan on Saturday, March 31. Kent State won with a final score of 6-1. This was the team's fourth consecutive win of the season. Photo by Jenna Watson.The Flashes, 9-4 in Mid-American Conference play, had just enough offensive production to squeak past Buffalo 14-11 in 10 innings in the first game of a doubleheader. They took 9-4 in their second game Sunday.
In game one, the Flashes struck first, with a four-run first inning. However, after the second-inning, the Bison would take a 6-5 lead. Senior Shannon Laughlin, junior Lauren Grimes, sophomore Abbey Ledford and senior Lauren Mokler all had three hits against the Bison. Senior Jess Blanton and Ledford each had two homeruns while Laughlin, Grimes and Mokler had a homerun each.
Emma Johnson has been a key component to Kent State’s pitching staff. She ranks second in the MAC in earned run average, with a 1.83 ERA.
Johnson threw seven and two-thirds innings, giving up six runs on thirteen hits and three walks. She struck out 12 and improved to 13-11 on the year.
Tied at 11 in the ninth, the Flashes scored three runs to put the game away.
“Emma does a very good job against very good offensive teams,” Linder said. “She kept them off balance and when she put runners on base, she was able to get out of it.”
In the second game, the Flashes scored four runs in the first inning. They would score another run in the third inning, making the score 5-0 Kent State. As the Bison tried to fight back, the Flashes kept putting on the run support.
In this three-hour match, Kent State scored nine runs on 12 hits. Freshman Kim Kirkpatrick, who only had one hit in game one, had three hits, a walk and scored twice in game two. Senior first baseman Shannon Laughlin had three hits, four RBIs and a run scored. Senior Mary Holt hit a solo homerun in the 3 inning to add onto the Flashes lead. The Flashes were productive offensively going 12-29 at the plate in game two.
Junior pitcher Danielle Abernathy started for the Flashes in Game two. Abernathy threw four innings, gave up five hits, allowed four runs, walked six and only struck out two. Sophomore Lauren McNeil came in to relieve and Johnson closed the final two innings, striking out three and walking two to get her fourth save of the season.
The Flashes are now second in the Eastern MAC standings, with a 10-4 record, just behind an 11-3 Bowling Green team. Overall, the Flashes are 28-16.
Kent State will play Penn State University in a double-header on Wednesday with the first game starting at 3 p.m. and the second at 5 p.m.