Kent State gearing up for MAC tournament, practicing hard

Kali Price

Kent State softball will take on top Mid-American Conference team Marshall this weekend for a three-game series.

The Flashes (24-23, 9-9 MAC) host the top MAC East team Marshall (33-17, 18-3 MAC) before moving on to the MAC tournament next week. The series begins with doubleheader tomorrow at 1 p.m. and a single game Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Flashes now hold the third spot MAC East, trailing No. 2 Miami’s MAC record of 13-8. The Flashes are fifth overall in the MAC. The top eight teams make the MAC Tournament.

Marshall has clinched both the East and overall titles after sweeping a doubleheader with Eastern Michigan May 1.

Of both MAC East and West rankings, the Flashes hold the fifth spot for both pitching and batting averages. The Flashes’ team batting average is .248, which trails Marshall by .029.

Marshall doesn’t hold one of the top five spots for the team ERA rankings. The Flashes’ average ERA is 2.46, while Marshall’s 2.86 ERA puts them in the tenth spot.

The Flashes’ top hitter is senior third baseman Jodi Stevens, whose batting average is .302.

One of the other top hitters for the Flashes is freshman shortstop Jessica Toocheck. Toocheck has a .291 batting average and the team’s best 39 hits from her 134 at-bats. She has the most RBI (19) and homeruns (5) on the Flashes.

Two of the Flashes’ top pitchers also rank high in the MAC standings. Freshman Keir McEachern is ranked 10th with a 2.17 ERA, followed by sophomore Brittney Robinson’s 2.19 ERA. Junior Erin Christopher holds the 20th spot with a 2.70 ERA.

McEachern holds the top pitching record for the Flashes with a 7-2 record. Robinson again trails McEachern with a 9-12 record. Robinson has recorded 163 strikeouts this season, which is nearly four times McEachern’s 43 strikeouts and Christopher’s 47.

The MAC tournament begins at Akron’s Firestone Stadium Wednesday. The Flashes’ seed will be determined after this weekend’s series.

Contact softball reporter Kali Price at [email protected].