Kent State Softball Travels to Virginia for Six Games
Golden Flashes (8-10) makes final trip before beginning conference play next weekend.
The Kent State softball team returns to action with a road trip to Virginia for six games over a span of four days. The Golden Flashes (8-10) will play a four games Saturday and Sunday (March 23-24) at the Radford Invitational and then stop by No. 19 Virginia Tech for a doubleheader on Tuesday (March 26).
The Flashes will play two games against both Radford and Binghamton on Saturday and Sunday as part of the Radford Invitational. Prior to returning to Ohio, they will make a visit to Virginia Tech for a doubleheader on Tuesday.
Last Time Out
The Golden Flashes won three of five games at the Winthrop Invitational (March 1-3) for back-to-back winning weekends. After topping Western Illinois (4-3) and North Carolina A&T (9-5) on Friday, the Flashes fell to No. 24 Georgia (8-1) and Winthrop (3-0) on Saturday. On Sunday, they were able to rebound with a 5-3 win over Delaware State.
Sophomore ace Emma Johnson (Groveport, Ohio) threw a pair of complete game victories while striking out 24 batters and recording a 1.94 ERA. Fellow sophomore Kim Kirkpatrick (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) slugged .706 after blasting two home runs and driving in seven runs over the five-game weekend.
Kent State has gone 6-4 over its last two weekend trips after a getting out to a 2-6 start. The Flashes were scheduled to host Youngstown State in a doubleheader at the Diamond at Dix on Tuesday, but the games have been postponed due to unplayable field conditions.
Johnson ranks second in the Mid-American Conference in both strikeouts (74) and opponent bating average (.193). She is third in ERA (1.78) and fifth in innings pitched (70.2).
Sophomore Dani Ramos (South Euclid, Ohio) has led the Flashes' lineup with a .321 batting average. Ramos and junior Abbey Ledford (West Liberty, Ohio) have collected a team-best 17 hits each on the season. Ledford has also plated the most runs with nine RBI. Kirkpatrick is hitting .302 while leading the team in runs (12), home runs (2), stolen bases (4), and runs scored (12).
As a pitching staff, the Flashes are first in the conference in opponent batting average (.245). They are getting slid defensive support as the Flashes rank second in the MAC with a .964 fielding percentage.
- The Highlanders defeated Liberty, 6-3, in a weekday game to extend their winning streak to three games. They have now won five of the last six games.
- Radford has four games against schools Kent State has played. They were outscored 33-2 in three losses to Georgia and defeated Quinnipiac 8-2.
- Jessie Hutchens has been the team's top hitter on the season. Hutchens has a team-best 18 hits, four home runs, 15 RBI, and .585 slugging percentage.
- Ace Rachael Walters (5-5) has a 3.54 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 59.1 innings of work on the season.
- The Bearcats went 2-1 at the James Madison Tournament a week ago with two wins over Detroit and a loss to Fordham.
- Lisa Cadogan leads the offense with four home runs, seven doubles, and 15 RBI. Cadogan also leads the Bearcats in batting average (.375) and slugging percentage (.771).
- Demi Laney, Rhoda Marsteller, and Kate Price each have two victories on the season. Laney has a team-best 3.97 ERA and 48 strikeouts.
Virginia Tech (18-4)
- The Hokies are ranked 19th in the most recent ESPN.com/USA Softball poll after going 3-2 at the Judy Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif.
- Hey have compiled a 4-1 record against nationally-ranked opponents this season with wins over No. 9 UCLA, No. 14 Michigan, and No. 19 Arizona. The lone loss was to No. 2 Arizona State.
- Five players are hitting over .300 and Courtney Liddle leads the way with a .415 batting average. Liddle has six doubles, three home runs, and 16 RBI on the season.
- Ace Kelly Heinz boasts a perfect 9-0 record and has recorded three saves. Heinz owns a 1.47 ERA and has struck out 81 batters while opponents have managed to hi just .178 against her this year.