Kent State softball coach Eric Oakley talked about the Flashes’ need to play a complete series, saying the players “had to get better at playing two games consistently,” on Tuesday.
Over the weekend, Kent State won all three games in a weekend series against Western Michigan.
The Broncos scored first in all three games, with Kent State making late comebacks.
“It’s really about talking to the team and making sure they are staying focused,” Oakley said. “They do a good job of keeping themselves focused and making sure they keep having quality at bats.”
On Friday, redshirt freshman Andrea Scali pitched a complete game in the victory. Scali is playing her first full season after missing her freshman year to a torn ACL.
“Andrea is an excellent pitcher,” Oakley said. “She did a great job of hitting her spots and keeping the Western Michigan energy a little off balance. Really, they didn’t hit her hard at all.”
Western Michigan had two runs, one in the first inning and a home run in the seventh.
The Flashes were scoreless until the sixth inning, an inning in which they scored five runs on five hits.
On Saturday, the Flashes again had late comebacks to win both games.
The first game saw Western Michigan score one run in the first inning before scoring two more in the third.
In the sixth inning, the Flashes had three hits and five runs while Western Michigan had three errors.
“Our pitching and our defense gave us the opportunity to stay in the games even when we were behind,” Oakley said. “Pitching and defense kept it from getting out of hand until our offense could score the runs we needed.”
Junior pitcher Madi Huck pitched all seven innings of the first game on Saturday, giving up seven hits.
“She had some big strikeouts and also made sure we were getting the right balls in play,” Oakley said. “She did a great job in the last inning of shutting them down, taking them out one, two, three to seal the win.”
The final game of the weekend was a 4-1 win for Kent State. Scali again pitched the whole game, allowing four hits.
The Flashes had their third straight big sixth inning of the weekend, scoring three runs. They would score once more in the seventh to secure the win.
Kent State returns to action in Athens to face Ohio University on Wednesday.
Gina Butkovich is a sports reporter. Contact her at email@example.com.