Softball at Buffalo Postponed; Doubleheader Sunday at Noon
Off to an 8-4 start in Mid-American Conference play, Kent State visits Buffalo for a doubleheader Sunday at Nan Harvey Field, beginning at noon. The Golden Flashes (22-20) are currently one game back of first place in the East Division, while the Bulls (14-21, 4-7) are just a game and a half back of fifth place in the overall MAC standings.
Live stats for both games can be viewed at www.buffalobulls.com.
A Tough Out
In her last four games, sophomore Alex Marcantonio (North Canton, Ohio) is carrying a .769 on-base percentage, reaching base 10 times in her last 13 plate appearances. In her last four games, Marcantonio is hitting .625 with a 1.125 slugging percentage. She hit a key home run in Kent State's 2-1 win over Western Michigan last Friday. An injury prevented her from playing on Sunday at NIU.
Freshman Dani Ramos (South Euclid, Ohio) hit .471 (8-for-17) last week with four runs scored and three stolen bases. In MAC games, Ramos is hitting a team best .425 (9th in the MAC) with seven runs scored.
Prior to Sunday, junior Danielle Abernathy (Adairsville, Ga.) was 4-0 with a save and a 1.21 ERA in her previous eight appearances. In conference play, Abernathy is 3-1 with a save.
Kent State ranks 25th in the nation in doubles per game (1.4), led by senior Shannon Laughlin (Fairview Park, Ohio) with nine. Since last season, Laughlin has totaled 10 doubles in conference play.
Freshman Emma Johnson (Groveport, Ohio) earned both a win and a save Kent State's sweep of Western Michigan last Friday. She allowed only one run in 7.2 innings against the Broncos. Johnson ranks 59th in the nation in strikeouts per seven innings (7.5).
Junior Lauren Grimes (Tallmadge, Ohio) had three hits in two games against Northern Illinois, including double.
Kent State's current RPI is 109 of 289 Division I teams. Seventeen of the Flashes' games played have come against opponents with higher RPIs.
In conference only games, the Golden Flashes rank fourth in the MAC with a 2.55 ERA.
After a 4-9 start, Kent State has gone 18-11 since March 4.
Buffalo – The Bulls have won six of their last seven, including a sweep of Niagara Wednesday. Buffalo scored 20 runs in two games, including a five-inning, 11-0 shutout in the opener. Last weekend, Buffalo took 3-of-4 conference road games, including a two- game sweep at Northern Illinois. Offensively the Bulls are led by freshman infielder Alexis Curtiss, who is hitting .366 with three home runs, and 19 RBIs. Junior utility player Alyssa Ward has been a key offensive contributor hitting .326 with 17 RBIs. The pitching staff is led by sophomore Tori Speckman, who has gone 11-10 with a 4.23 ERA, holding opponents to a .226 batting average with 86 strikeouts.
Strides For Autism
For the second straight season, the Kent State softball team is sponsoring Joey Cheney and the Family Child Learning Center during Autism Awareness Month. Joey was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 ½ and has had major breakthroughs in the areas of communication and motor skills since enrolling at the FCLC. The Golden Flashes had the opportunity to see first-hand, the benefits of attending FCLC. During home games throughout the month of April, the softball team will be taking donations to benefit children with autism. Donations can also be made at FirstGiving.com.
Johnson was named Mid-American Conference Co-East Division Pitcher of the Week for the second time this season last week. In her first four conference appearances, Johnson went 3-0 with a 1.53 ERA and two complete game victories. Sophomore Abbey Ledford (West Liberty, Ohio) was named MAC East Player of the Week on Feb. 29, winning the honor for the second straight season.
Team & MAC Leaders
Johnson's 1.83 ERA ranks second in the MAC. She has thrown four shutouts, which is tied for third in the conference. Her 16 complete games are tied for first and her 155 strikeouts are second.
Ledford leads the team with five homers and 26 RBIs. Ledford and Grimes each have a team-high 25 runs scored.
Ramos has a team best .348 batting average and eight stolen bases. In conference-only games, she is tied for second in hits (17).
Senior Jess Blanton leads the Flashes with a .426 on-base percentage. Her 22 walks rank fourth in the MAC.
Laughlin is tied for fifth in the MAC in doubles per game. She Grimes are tied for third in conference-only doubles with four.
The Golden Flashes will host Penn State in a doubleheader Wednesday, April 25, beginning at 3 p.m. Video of both games will be streamed live on KentStateSports.com.