Kent sweeps double header against Youngstown

Samantha Ross

When Kent State and Youngstown State University played last season, the Flashes had a three-run lead until pitcher Ronnie Ladines gave up a grand slam, which put the Penguins on top for good.

The roles reversed this year when Ladines hit a grand slam in the seventh inning of the second game to give the Flashes a 5-4 victory.

“She’s absolutely the person we would want up at bat in that situation,” coach Eric Oakley said. “She has had a few grand slams in her career. She does a nice job of being calm and seeing the ball and making sure she hits it hard.”

Overall, the Flashes (21-24, 9-9 Mid-American Conference) made the most of their opportunities Tuesday as they swept the Penguins (23-26) in the double-header.

“It was great because we played a different lineup a couple times,” Oakley said. “In both games, we went to our death a little bit. We didn’t pitch (Ladines). We played a couple different people at different positions that they haven’t been playing in. It gave them an opportunity to get some experience, and it gave us an opportunity to see what they can do and they stepped up.”

The Flashes led game one from the beginning, beating Youngstown State 7-1.

With bases loaded in the first inning, junior utility Allie Luther’s two-run single gave the Flashes its first runs.

The seventh inning brought in the final two runs for Kent State when freshman utility Olivia Sborlini tripled to right center.

Freshman Madi Huck pitched the whole game with five strikeouts and allowed one earned run.

The Flashes scored its first run in the second game due to an RBI by junior outfielder Emily Dobbin, which allowed freshman catcher Vanessa Vodan to score.

The final four runs were scored off of Ladines grand slam in the seventh. 

Senior Janel Hayes pitched game two and had three strikeouts and allowed four runs.

“They did great,” Oakley said of Huck and Haye’s performances. “They did everything they could to give us a chance to win the games today.” 

The Flashes take on the University at Buffalo this Friday at 3 p.m in Buffalo, New York.

Samantha Ross is a sports reporter, contact her at [email protected].