Kent State softball falls to .500 in MAC play after series loss to Toledo

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Kent State’s Madi Huck throws the ball to Hunter Brancifort at first base for the out during the Flashes’ 1-0 victory over Western Michigan on March 24, 2018.

Chad Flannery

Despite a prolific offensive weekend, the Kent State softball team was unable to turn the success at the plate into victories.

Kent State went 30-for-86 on the weekend, posting a .349 team average, and scored 13 runs.

The Flashes (17-13, 3-3 Mid-American Conference) started the weekend series against conference foe Toledo (21-13, 5-1 MAC) with a 7-6 walk-off victory but would go on to drop the final two games by a combined 11 runs.

The team was led by freshman lead-off hitter Kennadie Goth, who was 9-for-12 and scored a run on the weekend.

Junior Bailey Brownfield also had a solid series, going 6-for-12 with two runs scored and six RBI.

Game 1: Kent State 7, Toledo 6

The Flashes won the opening game of the series in dramatic fashion.

By the second inning, Kent State had jumped out to a 4-0 lead thanks to an RBI single by Maria Cegledy in the first and a pair of RBI doubles by Holly Speers and Bailey Brownfield in the second. Vanessa Scoarste also scored in the second inning after reaching base on an error.

A pair of RBI doubles by the Rockets in the third cut the lead to two.

In the sixth inning, Cegledy would launch a two-run home run to extend the Flashes lead to four. The home run was the first of the sophomore’s career.

Sophomore Madi Huck pitched six solid innings, tying her career high in strikeouts with six. However, in the seventh, she struggled.

Toledo would score four runs on two hits to tie the game capitalizing on four free baserunners thanks to walks and hit batters.

In the bottom half of the inning, Brownfield would end the Rockets’ hopes of a comeback victory with a walk-off single to left field.

Brenna Brownfield (6-4) got the win after tossing 0.2 innings in relief of Huck.

Game 2: Toledo 11, Kent State 3 (5 innings)

The Rockets dominated the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader.

After Toledo jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first, the Flashes left the bases loaded in the second after three straight infield singles by Allie Luther, Carlee Selle and Kaitlyn Miller.

In the fourth, Toledo put the game out of reach with eight runs on three home runs.

The Flashes’ bats started to come to life in the fifth when they put three runs on the board thanks to an RBI triple by Speers, an RBI double by Brownfield and an RBI single by Emily Dobbin.

However, the run was a little too late as the Flashes would be run-ruled at the end of the inning.

Game 3: Toledo 6, Kent State 3

After Toledo jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first few innings, a single by Kennadie Goth and a Speers walk with two outs set the stage for Game One hero Bailey Brownfield.

Brownfield stepped up to the plate and delivered a three-run blast over the wall in right center field to tie the game at three.

The Rockets would score a run in the fourth without a single hit thanks to a pair of walks, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly.

In the seventh, Toledo tacked on a two-run home run to add on some run support and extend the lead to three and secure the win.

Kent State failed to take advantage of baserunners for the remainder of the game, stranding a runner on base in each inning except for the final frame.

Madi Huck (9-4) got the loss after pitching the entire game. She allowed six earned runs on 10 hits and four walks, while striking out six.

Kent State will now hit the road for a mid-week doubleheader against conference opponent Ohio (18-12, 6-0 MAC) on Tuesday. First pitch for the first game is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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