Softball team drops first game of weekend, bounces back to win three in a row

Taylor Rosen

Kent State softball (24-16, 10-4 Mid-American Conference) dropped the first game of the weekend, but battled back in what was a 12-inning thriller to earn a split in the double-header against Northern Illinois. After wins Saturday and Sunday against Western Michigan, the Flashes are on a three game winning streak heading into the last week of regular season play.

The Flashes were able to score two runs in the 12th inning of the second Friday game to earn a tough road victory and split the series against Northern Illinois by a score of 7-5.

Pitcher Ronnie Ladines had a day to remember at the plate in the designated hitter spot. The freshman from Arlington, Washington, went three-for-six on the afternoon, including a home run and a clutch single in the 12th to help propel the Flashes to victory.

“I was happy that we were able to battle back to win the second game,” Kent State head coach Karen Linder said. “The lower half of our lineup came through offensively. Ronnie had a big game at the plate. Emma did a good job in the extra innings battling through some tough situations.”

Junior pitcher Emma Johnson stayed in the game for six innings and only allowed three hits and one run on the day.

The Flashes have won eight out of the last nine games and had no trouble sweeping Western Michigan to finish out the weekend and move to 24-16 on the season.

Erika Warren had a big series against Western Michigan. The sophomore catcher hit a home run in the final game of the weekend to put her team in front and had two hits in the first game against Western Michigan.

Senior infielder Abbey Ledford came through with a two-run home run in the fourth inning of the final game of the weekend to put the Flashes in front 3-1.

“Today was a good win for us,” Linder said. “Emma pitched well and defense did a great job. The top of the order was better and Erika Warren came through with two big RBI’s.”

Ladines pitched a complete game to finish out the weekend for the Flashes. Ladines only allowed five hits and one run.

Infielder Maddy Grimm also went deep against Western Michigan. The freshman now has a team-high 13 home runs on the season. Junior outfielder Kim Kirkpatrick also had two hits in the final game of the weekend.

“Ronnie had a nice game,” Linder said. “She won a lot of tough battles. Kim Kirkpatrick was a spark for us, and Erika and Abbey came through with big home runs for us.”

Contact Taylor Rosen at [email protected].