Flashes to Play Five Games Over Three Days at Marshall Invitational
Coming off a solid 3-2 weekend, Kent State (4-6) will play five games in three days at the Marshall Invitational, beginning Friday, March 2 at Dot Hicks Field in Huntington, W.V. The Golden Flashes will take on IPFW and host Marshall on both Friday and Saturday and will play a single game Sunday against Bucknell.
Last Time Out
Kent State's bats came alive at the Wolfpack Challenge this past weekend. Over five games, the Golden Flashes hit .341 with 10 doubles, two triples and six home runs. On a 3-2 weekend, the Flashes defeated Lehigh 9-2 on Friday and knocked off both NC State and Georgetown on Saturday. Kent State needed just five innings to run rule the Hoyas 8-0 and piled up 15 hits in a 15-8 victory over the host Wolfpack.
Sophomore Abbey Ledford (West Liberty, Ohio) and senior Jess Blanton (Wheelersburg, Ohio) were each named to the Wolfpack Challenge All-Tournament Team. Ledford .571 with two home runs, a triple, two walks and 10 runs batted in. She was also named Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week on Wednesday. Ledford drove in at least two runs and scored at least one run in all three of Kent State's wins on the weekend.
Blanton hit .636 with two doubles and four walks, carrying a .733 on-base percentage. Defensively, she absorbed two hits at home plate for critical outs.
Sophomore Alex Marcantonio (North Canton, Ohio) also had a strong weekend at the plate, hitting .400 with three doubles, a triple and seven RBI.
Freshman pitcher Emma Johnson (Groveport, Ohio) threw a two-hit shutout against Georgetown and recorded a three-inning save against NC State. She carried a 1.80 ERA over three games on the weekend. Sophomore Lauren McNeil (Akron, Ohio) went 2-0 in three appearances.
IPFW – Riding a four-game winning streak, the Mastodons are 6-2. In their last game, IPFW scored a season-high 10 runs with a late rally against Sacred Heart. Freshman outfielder Mackenzie Ritsema went 3-for-5, while sophomore Ashleigh Bousquet contributed two hits and four RBIs. Ritsema is hitting .360 on the year with a triple. Senior pitcher Courtney Cronin is 4-1 with 20 strikeouts and a 1.38 ERA. Mastadon pitchers have already combined for three shutouts this season.
Bucknell –The Bison took last week off from competition after going 2-1 in their opening weekend. In three games, sophomore Mallory Lyons is hitting .375 with a home run, a double and four RBIs. Freshman Kristen Zahn is also hitting .375. Junior pitcher Alex MacLean tossed a three-hit shutout against Elon and struck out five. Junior pitcher Bridget Gates has made 44 career starts.
Marshall – The host Thundering Herd (7-7) is the only team in the field to have played in each of the past three weekends. Swinging the hot bat for the Herd are senior Rebecca Gamby and junior Ashley Gue. Gamby is hitting .342 with two home runs and two doubles, while Gue is leads the team at .390. She and senior Jessica Hughes have combined for 19 stolen bases. Junior pitcher Andi Williamson (4-4) carries a team best 1.82 ERA with 52 strikeouts in 42.1 innings.
History vs. Opponents
The Golden Flashes are 16-21 in the all-time series against Marshall. The Thundering Herd claimed a pair of one-run victories over the Flashes at last season's Marshall Invitational, including 17-16 nine-inning slugfest. Lauren Grimes and Abbey Ledford each had three hits in the game. Kent State will be meeting Bucknell for the first time and IPFW for only the second time.
Kent State will play five games in three days at the Maryland Wounded Warrior Weekend (March 9-11). The Flashes will play two games against host Maryland and Rhode Island and a single game with Princeton.