Flashes Visit Central Florida for Single Game Wednesday Night
Kent State (12-13) completes its six-game trip in the state of Florida Wednesday, visiting UCF (21-10) at 7 p.m. The Knights have won 16 of their last 19 games, while the Golden Flashes have won 8-of-12.
The Flashes have shut out four different opponents over their last two weekends, but will have to get past a UCF squad that is 15-3 at home.
Live Stats can be viewed at UCFathletics.com
Kent State went 3-2 this past weekend at the USF Invitational, with shutout victories over Colgate and Coastal Carolina. Senior Jess Blanton (Wheelersburg, Ohio) led the way offensively, hitting .571 (8-for-14) with two doubles. She walked twice and carried a .625 on-base percentage. Blanton had hits in all three Kent State victories on the weekend.
The Flashes totaled 13 hits in a 6-0 win over Colgate, giving Kent State its fifth game of the season with 13 or more hits.
Freshman pitcher Emma Johnson (Groveport, Ohio) went 2-0 in a pair of weekend starts with two shutouts. Sophomore Lauren McNeil (Akron, Ohio) carried a 1.00 ERA over two appearances with a 1-0 record and six strikeouts.
Following a 4-9 start, the Golden Flashes have hit .294 in their last 12 games, carrying a 2.06 team ERA. . During that 12-game span, the Kent State defense has not committed more than one error in a game, playing mistake-free six times.
In Kent State's last 12 contests, Blanton has recorded six multi-hit games, carrying a .469 batting average. Holt is hitting .375 in that span with four doubles and two home runs.
UCF- The Knights are coming off a 3-0 win at Southern Miss on Sunday. Senior shortstop Natalie Land went 2-for-4 with a double. Freshman right-hander Mackenzie Audas threw a four-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts. Audas is 10-5 with a 1.30 ERA, four shutouts and 112 strikeouts. Land is hitting .314 on the year with four triples, 21 runs scored and 18 stolen bases. Junior Marissa Menendez is hitting a team best .325 with five doubles, 10 walks and 11 RBI. The Knights have stolen 46 bases on the season.
Last week, Johnson was named Mid-American Conference East Division Softball Pitcher of the Week. Johnson earned two victories in one day at the Maryland Round Robin. She came on in relief against Princeton to help give the Flashes a 9-7 extra-inning win. Immediately afterward, she got the start against Rhode Island and threw a one-hit shutout.
Johnson became the second Kent State player to win a conference award this season. Sophomore Abbey Ledford (West Liberty, Ohio) was named MAC East Player of the Week on Feb. 29.
The Golden Flashes scored 15 runs in a game for the second time this season, in a five-inning, 15-0 rout of Bucknell. Kent State also set a season-high for hits in a game against the Bison with 19, all of which came in four innings. The last time the Flashes had 19 hits in a game was in 1990, during the team's run to the College World Series. The Flashes also put up 15 runs in a victory at NC State. Kent State has scored 11 or more runs in a game three times.
Ledford leads the team with four homers and 19 RBI.
Johnson carries a team best ERA of 1.79. She has thrown 11 complete games in 13 starts and has fanned 101 batters. Johnson's four shutouts rank 30th in the nation.
McNeil carries a 4-1 record.
Blanton has a team best .415 batting average and a .506 on-base percentage.
Holt has a team best seven doubles.
History vs. Opponents
The Golden Flashes are 0-1 all-time against Central Florida, suffering a 3-2 loss last season at UCF's tournament . Shannon Laughlin (Fairview Park, Ohio) doubled and scored a run. Danielle Abernathy (Adairsville, Ga.) pitched six innings and struck out five.
The Golden Flashes visit Pittsburgh on Wednesday, March 28 for a doubleheader, before opening Mid-American Conference play at home on Friday, March 30.