Kirkpatrick Complete Flashes Comeback in Win over Toledo
KENT, Ohio- Kent State overcame an early deficit to top Toledo 4-2 Saturday at the Diamond at Dix. The Golden Flashes (19-18) remain in a tie for first place in the Mid-American Conference at 5-2.
A three-run fifth, capped off with a two-run homer by freshman Kim Kirkpatrick (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) gave the Flashes their first lead of the game. The line drive stayed just inside the right field foul pole.
"She's got a good a swing," Head Coach Karen Linder said of the 5-5 designated player. "And when she stays on the ball, she's got enough strength for it to go out."
Sophomore Alex Marcantonio (North Canton, Ohio) laced a single to left center to start the fifth. Marcantonio moved to second on a bunt by senior Lauren Mokler (Uniontown, Ohio).
"For Alex to get that leadoff single was huge for us," Linder said.
Junior Lauren Grimes' (Tallmadge, Ohio) ripped a double into the left center field gap to score Marcantonio and tie the game 2-2. Grimes, who had been struggling prior to the weekend, was moved to the ninth spot in the lineup and responded yesterday with a key home run in a win over Bowling Green.
"Lauren had some good at bats, but nothing was falling," Linder said. "She wants it so bad and she works really hard. And she had a timely clutch hit for us again today."
The Rockets put runners on second and third with one out in the sixth when senior Mary Holt (Providence, R.I.) made a huge play at third base. Snagging a hard one-hopper, Holt noticed runner Lindsey Tobias a little too far off third base and made a diving tag on her arm for the second out. Holt also made a key play in the second, catching a scorching line drive and throwing to first for a double play.
Toledo's only two runs came in the top of the first with the help of an infield error. Over the next six innings, freshman Emma Johnson (Groveport, Ohio) did not allow a run and fanned five.
"Emma's doing a good job, but she's got the potential to be really dominating," Linder said. "She didn't have her best stuff, but she was still able to hold them in check."
An RBI single by freshman Dani Ramos (South Euclid, Ohio) in the third, cut the deficit in half. Mokler started the inning with a single to center and moved to second on a bunt by Kirkpatrick.
Kent State goes for the sweep Sunday, hosting Toledo at 1 p.m.