Flashes split a doubleheader against St. Francis



Gina Butkovich

For one inning in each of game of its double-header on Wednesday, the Kent State softball team looks like the best hitting team in the Mid-American Conference.

The Flashes split a doubleheader against Saint Francis, losing the first game 5-4 and winning the second 6-2. In both games, almost all the Flashes runs were scored in a single inning.

“We had two big innings,” coach Eric Oakley said.“I like big innings, they’re fun, but then we are putting up zeros all the rest of the game. That’s kind of been a theme. We had that weekend at Western Michigan where we scored in the sixth inning every game.  I would like us to see us spread the scoring out a little more.”

St. Francis is currently tied for third in the Northeastern Conference and score an average of five runs each game. On Tuesday, they scored four runs in the first inning against Kent State.

“With classes and stuff, we sometimes have a tendency to come out a little flat for midweeks,” sophomore pinch hitter Kaitlyn Miller said. “We are not proud of these games.”

The Flashes are currently second in the MAC. The last time they lost a non-conference game was in March.

“People want to play us, people want to beat us,” Oakley said. “This was a good day for Saint Francis, they got out of here with a split. To me, this was not a good day for us, we needed to get two. No disrespect to Saint Francis, that’s a great program, but we expect to win two.”

All five runs scored in the first game were scored off of junior pitcher Madi Huck, with freshman Anilese Kelly coming in to pitch the last three innings.

“She’s still working some things out,” Oakley said. “She is doing a good job of getting ahead in the count, but we need to finish batters. She was getting hit hard a little bit, but she settled down after that. That’s going to happen. Saint Francis is a good hitting team, they’re going to take advantage of missed pitches, and we probably missed a couple too many. We needed to have some more runs to support her.”

The Flashes return to conference play this weekend, against eighth place Buffalo. The three-game series starts on Friday in Buffalo.

“I think the message we have taken from today is we have to come out prepared for every game,” Oakley said. “These next five games, our last regular season games, are all conference games and they’re all incredibly important. We have not, first of all, clinched anything. And second of all, we need to make sure we’re in the best position possible and there’s still a chance to win the conference. We need to make sure we’re taking care of business.

Gina Butkovich is a sports reporter. Contact her at [email protected].