Kent State softball splits 2-2


Senior first baseman Shannon Laughlin threw the ball from first during the Flashes’ game against Eastern Michigan on Saturday, March 31. Kent State won with a final score of 6-1. Photo by Jenna Watson.

John Dvozenja

Kent State arrived at Western Michigan after winning seven of their last ten home games. This weekend, the Flashes won two games against Western Michigan but lost two to Northern Illinois.

“Western Michigan is very much like us,” said Karen Linder, head coach. “They have solid pitching, they have kids who can hit for power, they have a lot of upperclassmen and they play with a lot of passion and enthusiasm. They are one of those teams where their energy is always a factor.”

Freshman Emma Johnson took the bump in this matchup, going seven strong innings, giving up four hits, one earned run, one walk and five strikeouts.

Early in the second inning, Flashes’ sophomore Alex Marcantonio hit a solo homerun to left field to take the 1-0 lead. Western Michigan came right back in the fourth with a solo-shot tying it up at one. It wouldn’t be until extra innings when Flashes’ senior Jess Blanton hit a game-winning double in the eighth inning.

Johnson is now 12-10 as a starting pitcher for the Flashes.

Friday: Game Two

Though Western Michigan came into the second game with more offensive production—10 hits—they still could not pull away with the victory, falling to Kent State 4-2.

The Broncos scored one run in the first after a couple singles and a throwing error by Flashes’ centerfielder junior Lauren Grimes.

Kent State would fight back in the third. Freshman Kim Kirtpatrick ripped a double to center field. Later in the inning, she scored by stealing home on a double steal.

The 1-1 tie would be broken up by yet another extra-inning game. In the ninth inning, the Flashes would score three runs from Western Michigan’s defensive lapses.

Saturday: Northern Illinois vs. Kent State

Kent State’s streak came to an abrupt end when the Flashes lost to Northern Illinois, 7-3.

The only connections that the Flashes’ bats made freshman Dani Ramos’s three-hit day, junior Lauren Grimes’s double, and a triple from freshman Kim Kirtpatrick.

The Northern Illinois Huskies did all of their damage in the third and seventh inning, scoring four and three runs respectively.

Northern Illinois is a very young team,” Linder said. “They will use the short game to manufacture runs, though the top of their lineup has some power.”

Sunday: Northern Illinois vs. Kent State

The Flashes were defeated in the second game of the two-game series against the Northern Illinois Huskies.

The Huskies 11-hit, 9-run performance was no match for the Flashes four run spurt.

Freshman Danielle Abernathy and sophomore Lauren McNeil were charged for the earned runs, allowing seven and two runs respectively.

Kent State showed a little life with a four-run fifth inning, but that was all the Huskies’ allowed.

Going 2-2 this weekend, the Flashes look to Saturday against Buffalo in a Mid-American Conference two-game series. Buffalo is 2-6 in MAC play with an overall record of 3-9.

Contact John Dvozenja at [email protected].