Flashes to Play Five Games at South Florida Invitational
After taking last weekend off from competition, Kent State (6-11) brings its high-powered offense to Clearwater, Fla., to play five games at the South Florida Invitational. The Golden Flashes will take on Boston University and Oklahoma State Friday followed by Saturday matchups with Rutgers and Florida A&M. KSU closes out its five-game weekend Sunday against Florida Gulf Coast.
The Golden Flashes are hitting .285 as a team and have knocked 40 extra base hits in 17 games.
The Scarlet Knights (10-10) are hitting. 302 as a team with players batting over .400. Junior Brittney Lindley (.456) has ripped seven doubles and four home runs. She has scored 20 runs and driven in 19. Junior Mikelyn Messina (.439) leads the team with five home runs and 21 runs batted in. Senior Mandy Craig has eight extra base hits with 11 RBI. The Knights are 41-of-44 on stolen base attempts. Freshman pitcher Megan Williams is 5-0 in eight appearances with a 1.91 ERA and four complete games. Rutgers has won eight of its last 12.
Florida Gulf Coast
The Eagles (13-16) have gone 8-4 since March 4 with three of those losses coming in extra innings. Senior pitcher Catherine McDaniel carries a 2.00 ERA in 77 innings with a pair of shutouts. Senior Courtney Platt leads the offense, hitting .308 with 18 runs scored and eight extra base hits. She has drawn 18 walks and carries a .526 on-base percentage. Freshman Brittney Garabedian (.293) has a team best six home runs and a .573 slugging percentage.
The Rattlers (11-13) are led offensively by sophomore Jasmin Donaldson, who is hitting .382 with four doubles, 12 runs scored and six stolen bases. Junior Tenisha Dixon (.370) has eight extra base hits, including four triples. She has drawn 12 walks and stolen seven bases. Sophomore Jenn Lindsey leads the pitching staff with 52 strikeouts and a 3.28 ERA.
The Cowgirls (20-6) were ranked No. 20 in this week's NFCA Coaches Poll. OSU has won six of its last seven, including four straight shutouts last weekend. Sophomore pitcher Kat Espinosa (10-2, 1.49) has been responsible for three shutouts this season. She has 74 strikeouts and two saves. Freshman Simone Freeman has been just as dangerous in the circle with 79 punchouts and a 1.88 ERA. Senior Alysia Hamilton is hitting .430 with seven doubles, four homers, 11 walks and 22 RBI. She is one of five Cowgirls batting over .340. Junior Julie Ward is slugging .714 with a team high seven homers.
Carmichael Named MAC East Player of the Week; Third Among Career HR Leaders
Jess Carmichael was named Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week last week for her performance at the Marshall Invitational. Carmichael has now won the conference award in four straight seasons.
In three weekend games at Marshall, Carmichael launched three home runs, drove in nine and carried a 1.364 slugging percentage. She hit .455 with a double and three walks, netting an on-base percentage of .571. Carmichael scored seven runs over three games in Huntington and stole a base in her only attempt.
Her 29 home runs in four years rank third among Kent State's career leaders.
Pair of Newcomers Continue to Make Big Impact
At the Marshall Invitational, freshman Alex Marcantonio hit.500 or better for the second straight weekend. Playing three games in Huntington, Marcantonio went 5-for-10 with two doubles. One weekend earlier, she went 6-for-11 (.545) with six walks, a double and six runs scored, giving her a .722 on-base percentage and an .822 slugging percentage. Marcantonio has started all 17 games, playing left field and shortstop. Her .429 average on the year leads the team.
Freshman pitcher Lauren McNeil leads the KSU staff with 54.1 innings pitched, twice as many innings as any other KSU pitcher. She recently tossed 8.1 innings against Marshall, allowing two earned runs with five strikeouts. One week earlier, she earned two victories at Florida Atlantic. Against FAU, she struck out a season-high eight. She has fanned 35 on the year and carries a team best 3.35 ERA. At the Pirate Classic, McNeil allowed only four earned runs in 14 innings.
Grimes Providing Consistency at the Top
Sophomore leadoff hitter Lauren Grimes (.355) is among Mid-American Conference leaders with 22 hits. Grimes has notched at least one hit in 14-of-17 games this season. At Florida Atlantic, she smacked two hits in three different games. Grimes has also pounded a double in seven different games, which leads the MAC. As a freshman in 2010, Grimes hit .374, the highest single season average at Kent State in the last decade. Her 45 runs scored was the second highest total in school history.