Lady Flashes have weekend to remember, finish with four game sweep

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.

Taylor Rosen

Kent State started the weekend with a 13-0 win against Toledo and saw a performance to remember from pitcher Emma Johnson. The junior from Groveport, Ohio, pitched a no-hitter and was just one batter away from a perfect game. Johnson’s performance set the tone for the rest of the weekend as the Flashes outscored the opposition 32-4 and won their fifth consecutive game.

“It was a great game,” Kent State Coach Karen Linder said. “Emma Johnson did a wonderful job on the mound with a no-hitter. She was one batter away from a perfect game, and we played great defense behind her.

Toledo made some mistakes, and we were able to take advantage of those. Maddy Grimm got it started with the home run, and we had a lot of kids come through and contribute with hits.”

Grimm, a freshman infielder led the Flashes with four hits and four runs scored in the doubleheader against Toledo. Junior outfielder Kim Kirkpatrick and Ariele Patterson followed with three hits each on the day as well.

“I think most teams are going to pitch around Maddy,” Linder said. “She continually has to decide if they are trying to walk her or if they are giving her something she may want to go fishing at.”

Kent State finished out the weekend by defeating Bowling Green, 8-0 and 10-4, to complete the four-game sweep. The Flashes had 31 hits this past weekend and 18 in just two games against Bowling Green.

“A lot of people did really good things offensively,” Linder said. “It was nice to see Dani [Ramos] have two hits. Jessacca Gironda came in for Dani and played exceptionally well. I was really pleased with the offensive production that we had.”

Pitchers Emma Johnson, Lauren McNeil and Ronnie Ladines only allowed four runs in the four games, and Johnson threw back-to-back shutouts Friday and Saturday.

“When Lauren entered in relief, she did a nice of getting out of that inning,” Linder said. “And then Emma came in and did a nice job of shutting them down after scoring a few runs in the fifth inning.”

With the sweep, the Flashes move to 21-15 on the year and 7-3 in Mid-American Conference play. With the MAC and NCAA tournaments approaching, the Flashes are preparing for a deep tournament run similar to the one they made a year ago.

“That’s what you have to do if you want to be one of the top teams in the conference is sweep at home,” Linder said. “And two sweeps is really positive, and I’m really excited about that.”

Contact Taylor Rosen at [email protected].