Central Michigan ousts Kent State softball from MAC Tournament

Published:

Record-Courier staff report

Central Michigan eliminated the Kent State softball team from the Mid-American Conference Tournament on Friday at Firestone Stadium in Akron.

The Chippewas (34-21) took advantage of a sloppy Golden Flashes team that had two errors, allowing for all three of Central's runs to be unearned.

Kent State (25-20) pitchers Emma Johnson and Ronnie Ladines combined to hold the Chipps to only five hits in the game.

Meanwhile, Kent State's offense failed to find a clutch hit.

The Flashes obtained a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning when junior Dani Ramos tripled into left-center. She then scored on a sacrifice fly hit to the wall by freshman Maddy Grimm.

The score would remain 1-0 until the top of the fifth inning, where the Chippewas scored all of their runs.

Johnson struck out the first batter and the next two Central Michigan hitters hit routine groundballs to the left side of the infield, but they were mishandled.

CarolAnn Sexauer quickly made the Flashes pay with a ground-rule double to score the game-tying run. Trista Cox followed with a bloop single that chased home two more runs for the Chipps.

Kent State threatened in the seventh with two runners in scoring position and nobody out following a single by freshman Janel Hayes and a double by sophomore Michele Duffy.

After back-to-back pop outs to shortstop, junior Kim Kirkpatrick drew a walk to load the bases for Ramos, who had two hits earlier in the game.

Ramos made good contact to left-center, but Central Michigan's Brittney Horan was able to make the catch for the final out.

For the third consecutive game, the Flashes collected more hits than their opponent (6-5). The timely hits that keyed Thursday's victory did not happen, however, as the Flashes went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left seven runners on base.

Johnson (14-11) did not allow an earned run in 4 1/3 innings in the circle. She had four strikeouts and allowed four hits. Ladines pitched the final 2 2/3 innings of the game and surrendered just one hit while striking out two batters with no walks.

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