RECORD-COURIER STAFF REPORT
Freshman Maddy Grimm homered to start a five-run third inning that broke open a tied game, and the Kent State softball team went on to earn a 10-4 victory over Bowling Green Sunday afternoon at the Diamond at Dix.
The Golden Flashes have now own five straight to improve to 21-15 overall and 7-3 in the Mid-American Conference.
"I'm really excited about getting two sweeps this weekend," said KSU head coach Karen Linder. "If you want to be one of the top teams in the conference, you have to sweep at home."
Kent State outscored Bowling Green and Toledo 32-4 in its four victories over the weekend, batting .333 as a team.
"I was really pleased with our offensive production," Linder said. "A lot of people did really good things for us at the plate."
On Sunday, eight different Flashes collected at least one hit. Senior Abbey Ledford and juniors Dani Ramos and Ariele Patterson led the way with two hits apiece.
Ledford's first-inning RBI single gave Kent State a 1-0 lead. After BG tied the game in the third, Grimm provided an immediate answer with her 12th long ball of the season to lead off the bottom of the inning. The runs kept coming, as sophomore Erika Warren drove home two more to push KSU's lead to 6-1 through three.
Bowling Green cut into its deficit with a three-run homer by Katie Yoho in the top of the fifth inning. Junior Emma Johnson came on top pitch Kent State and retired the next two batters to get out of the inning.
The Flashes quickly regained control, as Patterson singled in a run and Ledford ripped a two-run homer.
"We did a really nice job of responding to them each time they scored," Linder said. "They are a scrappy team and I knew that they would come back."
Johnson (12-7) picked up her third victory in as many days after throwing 2.2 scoreless innings in relief. Johnson allowed just one hit and had three strikeouts as she increased her scoreless innings streak to 14.
Grimm etched her name in the Kent State record books with her blast in the third, setting a new KSU freshman record with her 12th homer of the season. She set the freshman RBI record on Friday and now has 40 on the season. The school's single-season record for home runs (13) and RBI (48) are both attainable with 10 games remaining on the schedule in addition to the MAC Tournament.