East Race Remains Tight as Flashes Split with Ohio on Senior Day
KENT, Ohio - Kent State's offense continued to coast Saturday until the second inning of game two in a doubleheader split with Ohio at the Diamond at Dix. The Golden Flashes (18-26, 8-7 MAC) pounded five extra base hits in a 9-7 opening game win, before falling 7-3 in game two game two.
Playing for the final time on their home field, the three seniors in Kent State's starting lineup each had two hits in the opener, including Beth Cinadr, who finished the day with two home runs, a double and six runs batted in.
Cinadr sent a three-run homer to opposite field to give the Flashes a 5-2 lead in the first inning of the opener. The Flashes quickly erased a 2-0 deficit when Lauren Grimes and Shannon Laughlin each doubled in the first.
The Bobcats (20-20, 9-7) put up two more runs on three hits in the third, before Lauren McNeil came in to pitch and left the bases loaded. The Flashes gave themselves another cushion with three runs in the fourth.
Senior Holly Finchum's infield single was the first of four KSU hits in the fourth. Classmate Jess Carmichael drove in two runs with a double down the left field line and Cinadr placed an RBI double of her own down the left field line.
"I think Beth has been our most consistent hitter over the last two months," Head Coach Karen Linder said. "She's been very relaxed at the plate."
Ohio refused to go away, scoring three runs on three hits in the fifth, taking the lead back down to one (8-7). Mary Holt singled and scored in the bottom of the fifth and made a key defensive play at shortstop in the sixth. With a runner on second and a hit heading up the middle, Holt made a diving stop, popped back up to her feet and fired home for an out.
McNeil finished out the game, throwing 4.1 innings of relief for the win.
Game two appeared to be more of the same for the Flashes offense in the first inning. Cinadr put a two-run blast over the scoreboard to give KSU an early 3-0 lead. However, Ohio starter Emily Wethington did not allow a run the rest of the game. Wethington did not even make it out of the first inning of game one, but fanned 10 batters in game two.
"I was disappointed in our pitch selection in that second game," Linder said. We were swinging at stuff in the dirt and up by our eyes and looking at good pitches early in the count. She controlled us after the first inning."
Senior Markie Pozzuto was solid in her first four innings, allowing two runs, which came on a home run to center by Melissa Bonner. Bonner also singled during Ohio's two-run fourth and sent a two-run homer to center in the Bobcats' three-run sixth.
In its first 19 innings of the weekend KSU totaled 31 runs on 38 hits. But the Flashes were held scoreless in their final six frames on Saturday.
Alex Marcantonio reached base six times in eight plate appearances with three hits, two walks and a hit-by-pitch.
Still in the hunt for a MAC East title, the Golden Flashes will close out their regular season next weekend with a doubleheader at Central Michigan Friday (May 6) and single games at Eastern Michigan (May 7-8).