Softball grabs top conference over weekend


 Kent State Freshman infielder Vanessa Scoarste slides into home scoring a run during their 12-2 win over the University of Akron at the Diamond at Dix on Friday, April 10, 2015. The Flashes lost the first game of the double header to Akron, but improved their record to 24-9 overall.

Zac Sommer

A pair of wins over Ohio University this weekend moved the Kent State softball team into first place in the Mid-American Conference.

Kent State (26-9, 7-2 MAC) totaled eight home runs on the weekend as they beat the Bobcats (11-22, 4-4 MAC) 9-1 Saturday and 9-6 on Sunday.

“We came out and scored runs early on,” coach Karen Linder said.  “We really took control offensively and shut them down the rest of the way.”

Saturday, April 11: Kent State 9, Ohio 1

The Flashes recorded a season-high five home runs as they started early with a two-run home run from sophomore Maddy Grimm in the first inning.

Freshman Holly Speers continued the scoring with a solo home run to right field, also in the first inning, giving the Flashes a 3-0 lead over the Bobcats.

Senior Kim Kirkpatrick added to the Flashes home run tally with a solo home run in the second inning.

Kent State scored another run in the third, and the team had three runs in the fourth after another home run from Grimm, making the score 8-0.

The Bobcats scored an unearned run in the fifth inning before junior Shelbi Tilton would end the game with the Flashes’ fifth home run of the day earning a 9-1 victory.

Senior pitcher Emma Johnson (13-5) recorded six strikeouts and only allowed one hit Saturday.

“Emma pitched well,” Linder said. “Defensively we were solid all the way through.”

Sunday, April 12: Kent State 9, Ohio 6

Kent State continued to hit home runs after senior Dani Ramos and Grimm both hit solo home runs in the first inning of Sunday’s game, giving the Flashes an early 2-0 lead over the Bobcats.

The Flashes added two runs during the next three innings before allowing the Bobcats to score six runs in the fifth inning, giving Ohio a 6-4 lead.

Speers responded with a single down the left side, scoring two runs and tying the game at six.

“Kirkpatrick, Dani and Maddy were able to get on base,” Linder said. “Holly came through big for us at that point in time.”

Kent State regained the lead in the sixth inning with a sacrifice RBI to right field from Tilton before junior Michele Duffy homered to left field giving the Flashes a 9-6 win over the Bobcats.

“I was relaxed,” Duffy said. “I wasn’t trying to make the most of my at bats. I wasn’t trying to force anything. I just saw a good pitch and took advantage of it.”

Linder said she was happy with how the team responded.

“Emma shut them down right after that inning was over and offensively we responded to that inning in the sixth,” Linder said.

The Flashes look to take on Cleveland State for a doubleheader, starting at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Diamond at Dix.

Contact Zac Sommer at [email protected].