Softball sweeps into MAC play

Thomas Gallick

Kent State opens conference with two wins over Bulls

VIEW photos from the games.

Junior pitcher Kylie Reynolds threw her second consecutive two-hitter yesterday to lead the Kent State softball team to a 9-1 win over Buffalo and a sweep of the Bulls.

The Flashes (10-14, 2-0 Mid-American Conference) beat the Bulls (17-10, 0-2 MAC) Saturday 2-0 to open conference play with a win.

Reynolds struck out 12 Bulls yesterday in five innings of work, after recording 15 strikeouts in seven innings Saturday.

Reynolds said the team benefited from playing its first home series of the season after it had an 8-14 record in 22 road games to begin the season.

“It’s always nice to have the comfort of home, playing in front of the home crowd,” Reynolds said. “It was pretty exciting and gave a little momentum to us.”

Kent State coach Karen Linder said Reynolds helped the Flashes take control of their first conference series.

“I thought Kylie pitched very well,” Linder said. “I think she was very dominating with the number of strikeouts that she had. Kylie did her job.”

Kent State’s offense, which only recorded two hits against Buffalo in Saturday’s win, gave Reynolds more room to work with in the second game. The Flashes’ season-high nine-run effort put the run rule into effect because they led by eight or more runs after five innings.

The Flashes scored all of their nine runs in a third inning split by a rain delay. Junior outfielder Leah Archual opened the scoring with a two-run home run, her second in two days.

Archual, the team leader in batting average (.295) and home runs (two), knocked in four runs on the weekend.


&bull Offensive player of the series: Junior center fielder Leah Archual went 3-for-6 in the series and knocked in the game-winning run in both games.

&bull Pitcher of the series: Junior pitcher Kylie Reynolds (9-9) struck out 27 batters in twelve innings of work and returned to .500 on the season with two wins.

Kent State over spring break

March 24: L 3-1 at Kentucky

March 24: L 5-4 at Kentucky

March 25: W 4-2 at Eastern Kentucky

March 25: L 14-6 at Eastern Kentucky

March 28: W 2-0 vs. Buffalo

March 29: W 9-1 vs. Buffalo

Linder said she bats Archual first in the lineup because the junior can usually make contact, with any power being a bonus.

“She doesn’t get intimidated by anybody,” Linder said. “I’m happy with her production and what’s she’s doing. The home runs are just icing on the cake.”

Junior first baseman Amy Hair, the first batter after the rain delay ended, doubled to knock in a run and increase the lead to 3-0.

Buffalo relief pitcher Terese Diaz walked the next two Flashes she faced, forcing in another run, before junior designated player Alyssa Frobase hit a grand slam to extend the lead to 8-0.

Sophomore shortstop Jessica Carmichael singled in another run before the Bulls could finish the inning.

Buffalo came back to score one run in the fourth inning, the first the team has ever plated against Reynolds. She had thrown shutouts in each of her first three games against the Bulls.

Linder said the offense had one of its finest performances of the year yesterday.

“That’s probably the best offensive production we’ve had all year,” Linder said. “I’m happy to see we got it from a number of different people. It was something we needed at this point in time.”

Contact assistant sports editor Thomas Gallick at [email protected].