Freshman Maddy Grimm crushed three-run homer over the left field fence as visiting Kent State rallied in the sixth inning for the second consecutive day to defeat rival Akron 3-1 on Sunday afternoon. The Golden Flashes improve to 16-14 overall and 2-2 in Mid-American Conference play with the win, and claim a full point in the PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge standings with the weekend sweep of the Zips.
"I'm ecstatic that we're coming away with a win," KSU head coach Karen Linder said. "Maddy came through with a big hit and took advantage of the situation with runners on base. I thought both teams played well.
"We were able to take advantage of a mistake that Akron made."
Kent State needed only one hit in the pivotal sixth inning. Sophomore Michele Duffy and junior Dani Ramos reached after being by a pitch and drawing a walk, respectively. After choosing to intentionally walk Grimm in the exact situation on two occasions in Saturday's game, Akron (15-8, 2-2) elected to pitch to the freshman slugger. Grimm made the Zips pay with her 10th home run of the season. She now has 35 RBI, which ties the Kent State freshman record held by Jessica Carmichael (2008).
That was all of the run support freshman pitcher Ronnie Ladines needed, as she retired the Zips in order in the sixth and seventh innings.
Ladines went the distance for the Flashes to even her record at 4-4 on the season. She was dominant early, recording five strikeouts in the first two innings. Ladines finished the day with seven punch-outs and allowed just one unearned run on four hits while not walking a single batter. Akron's Erin Seiler (9-4) took the loss despite allowing just two hits in six innings.
The Flashes will play their home opener at the Diamond at Dix next weekend with four games against Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan slated for Friday through Sunday.