Softball continues road trip with stops at Toledo and Bowling Green

Christian Petrila

The Mid-American Conference East division-leading softball team continues its tour of the MAC with weekend stops at Toledo and Bowling Green.

The four games in three days will be the end of the team’s 10-game road trip — the longest road trip of the season.

Thus far, the trip has been successful in large part for the Flashes, who have gone 4-1-1 against Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan and Robert Morris. The good start to the trip has them tied with Miami atop the MAC East.

Much of the success over the course of the trip can be attributed to the pitching. The staff has a combined ERA of 1.57 over the course of the trip, led by Emma Johnson’s 1.51 mark over 23 2/3 innings in that span.

First on the list for the Flashes is a doubleheader against the Toledo Rockets on Friday afternoon. Toledo enters play Friday 9-23 overall with a 2-6 record, which has them in fourth place in the MAC West.

Kent State’s offense will have a chance to get its sometimes-slumping bats going against the Rockets. Toledo enters the game with a team ERA of 6.02. The pitching, however, will have to approach Toledo’s Courtney McCarthy carefully, as she’s hitting .363 with five home runs and 20 RBI on the season.

After leaving Toledo, the Flashes will have two games in Bowling Green against the Falcons, who enter Friday 20-12 with a 4-4 mark in the MAC, good for third in the MAC East.

The Falcons are winners of three straight, having defeated Ohio once and Valparaiso twice. Much like the Flashes, pitching was key for the Falcons in those games, as they allowed a mere five runs in the three games combined.

Runs will be at a premium when the Falcons and Flashes face off, as both units enter the weekend with staff ERAs under three. While Johnson leads Kent State, Bowling Green’s counter is Paris Imholz, who has an ERA of 1.81 in 119 2/3 innings on the season.

Kent State’s first game against Bowling Green is at 2 p.m. Saturday, while the second is at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The Bowling Green series concludes the road trip for the Flashes, who return home for a four-game home stand beginning with a doubleheader against Northern Illinois at 1 p.m. Friday.

Contact Christian Petrila at [email protected]/