Kent wins series against Akron

Samantha Ross

Kent State softball team (19-24, 9-9 Mid-American Conference) won two games in its weekend series against The University of Akron (21-25, 9-9 MAC) to give the Flashes a point in the Clinic Wagon Wheel Challenge. 

“This was a key series win for the team, and it’s great to get a Wagon Wheel point for the department,” coach Eric Oakley said to Kent State athletics. “Our hitters had a nice weekend overall, and we got the runs we needed in all three games. Ronnie (Ladines) has been consistent in the circle all season and had two great outings this weekend.” 

In order for Kent to beat Akron in game one, the Flashes had to take their time at the plate.

“I think they just got patient,” Oakley said after the first game of the weekend. “We had been putting the bat on the ball pretty solid the first few innings, and I think that we just got patient at the plate. Their pitcher got a little erratic. We just focused on putting the ball in play and took advantage.” 

The Flashes led 4-3 in the fifth inning, and Hunter Brancifort hit a home run in the seventh inning to give Kent a 7-3 victory.

“It’s a good win,” Oakley said. “It’s a rivalry win. They were a game ahead of us, and now we’re even, which obviously we still have two more games. Getting the first one was really important. 

Kent State split the doubleheader with Akron on Saturday.

The first inning started off strong with a home run by senior Maddy Grimm to give the Flashes a 1-0 lead.

The Flashes’ lead didn’t last long when Akron scored four runs in the second and fourth inning.

Kent scored three more runs, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Zips, who eventually won 8-4.

Freshman Madi Huck threw three innings and allowed four runs and had three strikeouts. Senior Janel Hayes pitched 2 1/3 innings and allowed four runs and had one strikeout. Freshman Kristyn Eckl didn’t allow any runs in 2/3 innings. 

In the third game, Kent beat Akron 12-1 in five innings due to the mercy rule.

The Flashes were up 10-0 by the start of the fifth inning.

Junior Emily Dobbin hit a two run home run in the fifth inning to give Kent the 12-1 victory.  

Ladines pitched all five innings and allowed only one run and had five strikeouts.

“Overall (we played) pretty well,” Oakley said. “We had a couple of bad innings in the first game defensively, but otherwise we hit the ball pretty well today.” 

The Flashes take on Youngstown State University this Tuesday at 3 p.m. 

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