Softball perfect on weekend, remains top of conference


 Senior outfielder Kim Kirkpatrick swings at a pitch during game 1 of Kent State’s double header against Cleveland State at the Diamond at Dix on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. Kirkpatrick homered to center field, scoring two runs of Kent’s 10-5 game 1 win.

Zac Sommer

Solid pitching and timely hitting helped the Kent State softball team remain in first place of the Mid-American Conference as they swept both Bowling Green and Toledo over the weekend.

Senior pitcher Emma Johnson recorded her third career no-hitter in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader as Kent State (35-11, 13-4 MAC) shut out Bowling Green 3-0.

“I think our pitchers did a really nice job,” coach Karen Linder said. “We did a nice job of taking advantage of Bowling Green’s mistakes, and it was nice that we played great defense behind it.”

Sophomore pitcher Ronnie Ladines (10-5) started for the Flashes in the second game Friday. Ladines struck out five batters and only allowed five hits in five scoreless innings.

Johnson relieved Ladines in the final inning, earning her second save of the season in the 1-0 win over Bowling Green.

Following Friday’s sweep, Johnson led the Flashes to a 2-0 win over Toledo on Saturday. Johnson struck out nine batters, increasing her scoreless innings streak to 23 and moving into second on Kent State’s career strikeouts list with 864.

Johnson (19-5) pitched for her third consecutive shutout in Sunday’s 5-0 win over Toledo.

“I am really happy with how we battled in close games this weekend,” Linder said. “Emma was outstanding. It was great to see her shut out Toledo in back-to-back games.”

Sophomore Maddy Grimm hit a three-run home run in the third inning to give the Flashes a 3-0 lead.

Kent State added two more runs in the seventh inning, securing the 5-0 win and a 4-0 weekend finish.

Kent State returns to the Diamond at Dix where they will host Western Michigan for a doubleheader. The first pitch set for 1 p.m. Friday.

Contact Zac Sommer at [email protected].