Softball proves to be inconsistent winners on opening weekend


MaKayla Brown

Kent State softball outfielder Kim Kirkpatrick steals third base in first game against Toledo in a double-header Friday, April 18, 2014. The Flashes won 13-0 the first game and 1-0 the second game.

Jimmy Miller

Over the course of a six-game weekend in San Diego, Kent State managed to turn a series of unpolished performances into a 4-2 record in the first week of the season.

After an eight-inning affair Friday against Southern Utah that resulted in a 5-2 Kent State win, the Flashes turned around and defeated Montana 8-2. Junior infielder Michele Duffy finished the day with six hits and four RBI, while junior utility player Shelbi Tilton registered four RBI off of four hits.

Senior pitcher Emma Johnson threw a complete game one on her way to a nine-strikeout, one-earned-run afternoon. Meanwhile, sophomore pitcher Ronnie Ladines pitched a game two win with an impressive stat line: Two earned runs, four strikeouts and 5.1 innings of work.

However, the Flashes struggled to keep a consistent defense on Saturday, dropping a rematch with Southern Utah 4-3 and a 3-2 decision with the hosts, San Diego.

Five unearned runs off of errors were what marred the Flashes’ second day of competition. Senior outfielder Dani Ramos made a statement in the first game, scoring a run and finishing with two hits. Junior infielder Lauren Kesterson also rocketed a 3-RBI double to knock in the Flashes’ only runs.

San Diego may have smothered the Kent State offense, but the Flashes hung with the Toreros. The two squads matched each other with two runs in the fourth, as San Diego walked in a runner and senior outfielder Ariele Patterson singled in another.

But it would be the Toreros who struck last, and in this game, that was what mattered. Following an error, San Diego scored off a wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth, and the Toreros took control for the remainder of the contest.

The Flashes rebounded Sunday, trouncing Montana again with a 6-1 score, and edging CSU-Bakerfield 1-0 in their tournament finale.

Senior outfielder Kim Kirkpatrick struck the team’s first home run of the year in the first contest, while Laddines, Duffy and sophomore utility player Paige McCrary all managed two hits.

The sole run in the CSU-Bakerfield game came from Kirkpatrick’s bat, as a two-out single in the fifth inning proved to be enough to beat the Roadrunners. Junior pitcher Alyssa Frankenfield and Johnson combined for the shutout victory.

The Flashes head to the Eastern Kentucky Invitational on Saturday to square off with the hosts of the tournament, Eastern Kentucky. First pitch is set to be at 10 a.m.

Contact Jimmy Miller at [email protected].