Reynolds sets MAC wins record

Brad Tansey

The Kent State softball team won three out of four games this weekend, including a sweep over Akron, to maintain its position at the top of the Mid-American Conference.

After yesterday’s 9-1 victory over the Zips, senior pitcher Kylie Reynolds became the Mid-American Conference’s all-time leader in wins with 78 for her career.

On Friday, the Flashes (24-17, 11-3 MAC) split with Ohio, losing the first game 2-1 and winning the second game 5-1.

Reynolds said the team was really hoping to get the win at Ohio, but the loss fueled the fire for the rest of the weekend.

“Overall, I think we did really well this weekend,” Reynolds said. “We’re starting to play more consistent with bringing our whole game to the field.”

Kent State has won 11 out of its last 16 games, including seven out of its last eight.

Reynolds took the loss for Kent State in game one Friday, pitching a complete game with six strikeouts.

The only run Kent State scored was on a sacrifice fly by sophomore catcher Jessica Blanton, which scored junior outfielder Beth Cinadr.

The offense came to life in the fourth inning of game two when Cinadr doubled to left field. Junior third baseman Jessica Carmichael and Blanton followed with a pair of singles. With two on and two out, sophomore shortstop Mary Holt blasted a three-run home run to give the Flashes a 4-1 lead. Holt went 2-for-3 with three RBIs in the Flashes’ win.

Kent State scored again in the top of the fifth when freshman outfielder Lauren Grimes singled up the middle. She later scored after a single by Carmichael.

On Saturday, Kent State defeated Akron 4-0.

Carmichael said the offense came together after Friday’s loss.

“Our offense pulled together, and defensively we did make the plays when we needed to,” Carmichael said. “We were in some tough situations at times.”

In the top of the fourth inning, Carmichael hit a solo home run to break a scoreless tie.

“Hitting home runs are always great,” Carmichael said. “I kind of got off to a slow start at the beginning of the season, so now that I can come back and get going again is huge for me.”

After a one-out double by Holt in the top of the sixth inning, senior first baseman Alyssa Frobase hit a triple which scored pinch runner Lauren Brocklehurst.

The Flashes scored again in the seventh after singles by Grimes, Holt and senior outfielder Leah Archual.

Kent State finished the sweep of the Zips yesterday with a 9-1 victory.

In the second victory against Akron, Reynolds also broke the school record for career shutouts (27), while picking up her 17th win on the season in the team’s victory against Akron.

“Shutouts are something I always aim for in every game that I throw,” Reynolds said. “I wish I could have thrown more this year, but as a pitcher, I feel that’s the best job you can do.”

The Flashes scored first in the top of the fourth inning after a double by senior infielder Amy Hair, which scored Brocklehurst, who pinch ran for Blanton, who singled earlier in the inning.

Kent State increased the lead to 2-0 in the fifth after a two-out single by Cinadr to score Archual, who reached on an infield single.

The Flashes exploded for seven runs in the top of the sixth inning to make the score 9-0. Carmichael hit her second home run of the weekend in the inning. She has a team-leading nine home runs on the season.

Kent State has a one-game lead over Central Michigan for first place in the MAC. The Flashes return to action tomorrow with a doubleheader at Cleveland State beginning at 3 p.m.

Contact sports correspondent Brad Tansey at [email protected].