Flashes softball heads south with division title up for grabs

Kent State softball players warm up before their game on March 30, 2013. . Photo by Jenna Watson.

Kent State softball players warm up before their game on March 30, 2013. . Photo by Jenna Watson.

Christian Petrila

Kent State’s softball team embarks on its biggest road trip of the season with the Mid-American Conference East division championship on the line.

The Flashes (24-18-1) begin the weekend by traveling to Oxford, Ohio, for a Friday doubleheader against the Miami RedHawks (18-29).

The team holds a two-game lead on the RedHawks atop the MAC East standings. Should the Flashes sweep the doubleheader, they will clinch the title.

Head coach Karen Linder talked about how she plans on preparing her team for the RedHawks.

“Part of why our energy’s not where it needs to be is their focus is in a lot of different places right now; so how we’re preparing for Miami is, we’re taking a day off,” Linder said. “I told them, ‘I don’t want you thinking about softball [Wednesday] at all.’ Then Thursday, we have to come back and have a very good, productive practice where we will talk about Miami and what we need to do.”

Linder also made it clear that she didn’t want her team to use all their energy for just one opponent.

“I always talk about speeds of the game, and I feel we need to be at about a seven, not at a 10-speed,” Linder said. “We need to just keep our focus, keep our energy high, but not out of control.”

After leaving Oxford, the Flashes will have another tough test as they travel to Muncie, Ind., to take on the Ball State Cardinals.

The Cardinals lead the MAC West with an impressive 15-2 conference record.

Ball State has a well-rounded squad. As a team, they’re hitting .315, while the pitchers have kept the team’s ERA to just 2.90.

The first game against the Cardinals will be at 2 p.m. Saturday and the second will be at 1 p.m. Sunday.

After the Flashes return, they’ll have very little time to recover, as the MAC Tournament begins Wednesday. All games will be held at Firestone Stadium in Akron.

Contact Christian Petrila at [email protected].