Flashes back above .500 in MAC after series win at Ball State


Kent State sophomore pitcher Olivia Sborlini comes in for relief on March 24, 2018. The Flashes won the first game of the doubleheader against Western Michigan, 8-7, in extra innings.

Chad Flannery

The phase of the game that has been the downfall of Kent State softball for most of the season was the key to the Flashes’ success this weekend.

In her two appearances, sophomore pitcher Madi Huck shut down the second most prolific offense in the Mid-American Conference, allowing only three total runs on 10 hits.

Kent State (19-14, 5-4 MAC) was able to secure two victories against MAC West opponent Ball State (24-12, 6-3 MAC), which puts the Flashes back over .500 in conference play.

“Our offense was very consistent, and we were able to convert most of our chances into runs,” Oakley said. “Even in Saturday’s loss, we had a lot of offensive production.”

Bailey Brownfield led the way for the team offensively this weekend, going 9-for-12 with three RBI.

Emily Dobbin also went 3-for-10, but she scored three runs and collected three RBI.

Game 1: Kent State 5, Ball State 2

After falling behind, 1-0, in the second inning, the Flashes quickly answered with two runs of their own in the third on an RBI single by Brownfield and an error which scored Holly Speers.

In the fourth, Kent State freshman catcher Carlee Selle hit a two-run home run to right field to extend the lead to three.

The Cardinals would cut the deficit to two in the sixth inning thanks to a solo homerun by Annie Robinson.

Sophomore outfielder Maria Cegledy tacked on some insurance on an RBI double in the seventh which scored pinch runner Olivia Sborlini to make the score 5-2.

In the bottom half of the inning, Huck was able to pitch her way out of a bases-loaded scare to secure the victory for the Flashes.

Huck (10-4) got the win on the mound for the Flashes after throwing a complete game and only allowed two runs on seven hits.

Game 2: Ball State 15, Kent State 7

(6 innings)

Kent State jumped out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to an RBI single by Brownfield that scored Goth and a walk with the bases loaded which scored Dobbin.

However, in the bottom half of the inning, the Cardinals would homer twice to even the score.

Ball State would then go on to add on four more runs in the second thanks to two RBI singles and a two-run home run to make the score 6-2.

After an RBI single by Kaitlyn Miller narrowed the gap to three in the top of the third, Ball State answered with seven more runs to stretch the lead to 10.

In the fifth, Miller delivered again with a two-run double. Dobbin would also go on to hit a two-run home run shortly after to make the score 13-7.

Ball State thrashed the Flashes’ hopes of a comeback in the sixth by scoring two runs to invoke the run-rule.

Brenna Brownfield (6-6) got the loss after only going 2.2 innings and giving up six earned runs on five hits.

Game 3: Kent State 4, Ball State 1

Bailey Brownfield started the scoring off for Kent State with an RBI double to center to put the Flashes up 1-0.

The Cardinals only run of the game came in the second inning on a wild pitch by Huck with the bases loaded which would even the score at one.

The Flashes would retake the lead in the fifth when Sborlini would score on an error by Ball State.

In the sixth, Kent State would put the game out of reach thanks to an RBI double to center by Dobbin and an RBI single by Cegledy.

 Huck (11-4) got the win in another dominating outing in which she pitched the entire game and only gave up one run on three hits and struck out two.

Kent State returns to the diamond at a time to be determined Wednesday at the Diamond at Dix for a conference doubleheader against Ohio (19-13, 7-1 MAC). These games are being made up from a postponement due to inclement weather.

Chad Flannery is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].