A winning weekend for Flashes

Deanna Stevens

Softball sweeps Zips and splits with Bobcats

First baseman Jamie Fitzpatrick fields a grounder in the fifth inning of game one of the Flashes’ doubleheader with Ohio Saturday afternoon. Kent State won that game, 5-2. LESLIE CUSANO | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

After winning the first three games of the weekend, the Kent State softball team had to put the brooms away early in game two against Ohio on Saturday.

The Bobcats (18-20, 7-5 MAC) jumped out to an early lead in the second game, scoring four runs in the top of the second inning and sealing an 8-2 victory with three more runs in the top of the seventh.

A fifth-inning home run by junior left fielder Corey Houk and an RBI pinch-hit single by senior Lauren Ellis in the seventh was all the Flashes could deliver against a stingy Bobcat defense that turned its fourth double play of the game to end any chance of a Kent State comeback.

Linder said the Flashes hit the ball better in the second game than the first, but the hits were not able to fall in.

Senior pitcher Brittney Robinson (7-7) took the loss, giving up eight hits while striking out 10. Linder said Robinson didn’t “look as sharp” as usual.

In the opening game, the Flashes’ offense carried them to a 5-2 victory.

Houk hit a solo home run in the bottom of the second, and senior third baseman Megan Verde followed with a double and scored off a sacrifice fly by senior catcher Ellis two batters later.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, right fielder Jessica Toocheck hit a two-run homer, but the Flashes would not score again.

Freshman pitcher Kylie Reynolds got the win, making her 10-5 for the season. She gave up six hits and had 10 strikeouts.

After a layoff of nearly two weeks, the Flashes started off the weekend strongly by taking both games of a doubleheader with rival Akron (9-16, 1-5 MAC) on Friday.

“We want to dominate the MAC,” Linder said. “When you don’t play, it’s hard to do.

“All year, the MAC is what you work for. It’s tough to lose MAC games because of weather.”

Reynolds pitched all five innings of the first game, striking out seven Akron batters. She allowed two hits in the 9-1 victory.

The Kent State offense exploded early, scoring seven runs in the second inning, highlighted by an Ellis grand slam.

Akron only mustered two hits and one run and committed three errors.

“That’s what good teams do,” Linder said. “You turn the opponents mistakes, and we took advantage of that with our aggressive baserunning.”

In the second game, the Flashes continued their offensive outburst by defeating the Zips, 11-5.

“I’m happiest about the offense,” Linder said about the series with Akron. “We hit all the way up and down the lineup.”

The Flashes took an early two-run lead, but the Zips rallied to tie the game at four in the top of the third. Kent State then responded with back-to-back home runs by Houk and Verde.

Robinson got the win in the second game. She struck out six Zips and gave up four hits and four runs. Junior Gabe Burns relieved Robinson in the sixth inning to close the game.

The Flashes are back in action at 3 p.m Tuesday in a doubleheader at Robert Morris.

Contact softball reporter Deanna Stevens at [email protected].