Flashes overcome tough first game, bounce back to split series with Central Michigan

Taylor Rosen

Some may have had reason to question Karen Linder, Kent State softball head coach, for switching up the batting order after Saturday’s loss and inserting freshman infielder Maddy Grimm, the best hitter on the team, into the leadoff spot.

“We knew after yesterday that Central was going to walk Maddy,” Linder said. “So if they were going to walk her then I was going to put her in the one-hole so we could provide everybody else with more opportunities to bring her in.”

If there were any doubts about Linder’s decision, Sunday’s bounce back 6-5 victory over the Mid-American Conference leading Central Michigan Chippewas surely put them down.    

The Flashes jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the fourth inning on Sunday, but Central Michigan refused to give up and answered by scoring a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth innings to tie the game up.

The bottom of the sixth was nearly a mirror image of the first. Grimm was intentionally walked and put on base. Just like in that first inning, Dani Ramos delivered with what was ultimately the game winning triple to bring Grimm home and give the Flashes the lead going into the seventh and final inning.  

It was the fourth time in four at bats that Grimm was intentionally put on base, and on Sunday the Flashes made the Chippewas pay by bringing her across home plate three out of the four times she was put on base.

“I’m really happy with what people did behind her,” Linder said. “Dani Ramos, Kim Kirkpatrick and Janel Hayes really came through for us today with some big hits.”

Dani Ramos led the Flashes offensively by batting two for three with two runs batted in. Emma Johnson pitched a complete game and finished with eight strikeouts on the day.

The Flashes were able to move to (17-15) on the season after this split of the series with Central Michigan. Unfortunately, the Flashes had another doubleheader cancelled at the beginning of the weekend because of weather.

“The weather has really had a negative effect on us these last few weeks,” Ramos said. “I think it has really killed our momentum, but at least we were able to come out and enjoy the weather today, and most importantly get a big conference win.” 

Contact Taylor Rosen at [email protected].