Flashes Launch Three Home Runs in Win Over Bobcats
AKRON, Ohio- For the seventh consecutive season, Kent State (27-29) is among the final six teams standing at the Mid-American Conference Championships. The Golden Flashes offense came alive with nine hits and three home runs in a 9-5 win over Ohio Thursday at Firestone Stadium.
Ohio wasted little time getting on the board as the second batter of the game, Brooke Morgart knocked a solo home run to right center field. But the Flashes answered emphatically in the bottom of the first.
Coming off a 2-for-3 day on Wednesday, junior Lauren Grimes (Tallmadge, Ohio) picked up right where she left off. Following a Kim Kirkpatrick (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) single, Grimes crushed a 3-2 pitch to straight away center field, giving the Flashes a 3-1 lead. Two batters later, sophomore Alex Marcantonio (North Canton, Ohio) sent her seventh home run of the season over the left center field fence.
The Flashes kept the heat on in the second. A single by sophomore Caitie Kilbane (Westerville, Ohio) and a hard hit ground ball by Kirkpatrick that resulted in an error was enough to knock Ohio pitcher Kaylin Clarke out of the game. After a walk to Grimes, senior Jess Blanton (Wheelersburg, Ohio) ripped a bases loaded single up the middle, scoring two more.
Ohio came back with two runs in the third on three hits and threatened again in the fourth. The Bobcats loaded the bases in the fourth with no outs, but a pop out and a 3-2-4 double play started by senior Shannon Laughlin (Fairview Park, Ohio) ended the threat.
The Bobcats loaded the bases again in the sixth with one out and scored on a fielder's choice as Ledford tossed to Marcantonio at second for the second out. A walk and an infield error tied the game 5-5.
The tie did not last long as Kilbane led off the bottom of the sixth with a home run to left, Kent State's third of the game. Grimes then started a two-out rally with a single to center. A pair of walks loaded bases for Marcantonio who sent a fly ball into right center that was chased down and dropped, scoring three more runs.
For the second straight day, freshman starter Emma Johnson (Groveport, Ohio) went the distance.
She fanned six and left 10 runners on base. Grimes went 2-for-3 with a walk and a pair of runs scored.
Kent State will take on the loser of the Central Michigan-Miami game Friday at 1:30 p.m.