Softball splits rivalry series with Akron

Zac Sommer

The Kent State softball team (24-9, 5-2 Mid-American Conference) ended a home Friday doubleheader with a split against MAC rival University of Akron (14-18, 2-5 MAC).

After dropping the first game 2-1 in extra innings, the Flashes responded with a dominating 12-2 win over the Zips.

Akron’s junior pitcher Erin Seiler held Kent State to only three hits and one run in the first run, and she struck out 11 Flashes.

“I felt like we should’ve performed better offensively in the first game,” coach Karen Linder said. “We had an opportunity where we had some runners on base, and we didn’t put the bat on the ball. That’s probably the most strikeouts we had in a long time, and that’s disappointing.”

Senior outfielder Dani Ramos would score the Flashes’ only run in the first inning off of an error by the Zips first baseman.

Akron would tie the score with an RBI single down the left field line in the fourth inning.  

The score remained 1-1 until the eighth inning, where Akron scored an unearned run off of a Kent State error.

Senior pitcher Emma Johnson (12-5) struck out seven batters, allowing six hits and one earned run in the Flashes’ loss.

“We didn’t play as sharply or as well as we needed to in all phases of the game,” Linder said. “From a pitching standpoint, (Johnson) held them in check and should’ve been able to win the game with what she did, but she didn’t totally dominate like she has been. We didn’t do what we needed to win it.”

Kent State answered in the second game with a 12-2 win over the Zips, playing only five innings.

The Flashes scored two runs early in the first inning before junior infielder Michele Duffy hit a three-run homer left of center field, giving Kent State a 5-0 lead.

Sophomore Maddy Grimm hit her ninth home run of the season, scoring senior outfielder Kim Kirkpatrick in the second inning.

“I’ve been keeping it simple,” Grimm said. “I’ve been breaking it down to seeing the ball, hitting the ball and just feeling good instead of trying to overcomplicate things.”

The Zips hit a two-run home run in the third inning, but Kirkpatrick responded with her own two-run shot, making the score 9-2.  

Kent State scored a run in the fourth inning after the Zips pitcher walked Kirkpatrick, loading the bases. Ramos later singled to right field, driving in two more runs and capped the scoring in a 12-2 win over the Zips.

Sophomore pitcher Ronnie Ladines (8-4) recorded six strikeouts, allowing four hits and two earned runs in the 12-2 victory.

“I thought our kids did a good job learning what they needed to do in the second game,” Linder said. “That first inning was huge for us to be able to put those five runs on the board.”

The Flashes are set to take on Ohio University at 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at the Diamond at Dix.

Contact Zach Sommer at [email protected].