KIRTLAND, Ohio – Lakeland softball broke out on offense with 31 total runs in two games to sweep Kent State University – Tuscarawas by the scores of 15-3 and 16-8 Thursday afternoon.
With the pair of non-conference victories, Lakeland improves to 11-11 overall and stays at 1-5 in Ohio Community College Athletic Conference play.
Lakeland 15 – Tuscarawas 3
Lakeland started with seven runs in the first inning and ran away with a 15-3 victory in five innings to open the doubleheader.
Cameron Malkamaki led the way with a double and two singles while bringing in three runs. Elizabeth Montgomery, Justine Barnes, Cassidy Yarnell, Nicole Ulogar, Abby Takacs and Jamie Matso each had one RBI in the win.
Takacs got the start in the circle and pitched the first two innings to get the win while giving up two earned runs and striking out two. Sydney Aey closed out the final three innings and didn't allow an earned run while striking out four.
Tuscarawas came out scoring two runs in the opening inning but Lakeland fought right back. Kallista Hribar led off and was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on a wild pitch to get within 2-1. Montgomery and Barnes both scored on an error for a 3-2 lead.
The Lakers took advantage of more Tuscarawas mistakes as Malkamaki scored on a wild pitch for a 4-2 lead. Takacs drove in a run with an RBI ground out to score Yarnell to make it 5-2. Sam Szoradi scored on an error for the sixth run and then Montgomery ripped an RBI single to the left side to score Matso for a 7-2 lead after one inning.
The scoring continued for Lakeland in the second inning as Malkamaki started it off with a single and then scored on an RBI single by Ulogar to the left side for an 8-2 lead. Ulogar later scored on an error for a 9-2 lead after two innings. Tuscarawas added a single run in the third to get within 9-3 but it would be the final run scored by the visiting team.
The Lakers got right back to scoring in the bottom of the third when Hribar started off with a triple and Montgomery walked. Both scored on a two-run double by Malkamaki to center for an 11-3 lead.
Lakeland looked to tack on more runs in the fourth to try and end the game early. Matso started the scoring with an RBI single in the infield to score Ulogar for a 12-3 lead. Barnes followed with an RBI single to left for the 13th run. Malkamaki forced in a run with a bases loaed walk and then Yarnell capped the scoring for the Lakers with a sacrifice fly to left for a 15-3 lead that would hold up until the final out in the fifth.
Lakeland 16 – Tuscarawas 8
Lakeland faced a little more adversity in the second game as Tuscarawas scored eight runs but the Lakers took care of business in six innings to earn the 16-8 victory to get the sweep.
Montgomery did a lot of the heavy lifting on offense with a home run, a double and a single to bring in four total runs. Yarnell and Malkamaki each had three RBIs. Aey and Takacs each had two RBIs in the lopsided victory.
Nicole Watts pitched the first four innings and earned the run, even after running into a little trouble in the circle. Takacs came on in the final two innings and didn't allow a run to finish off the game.
Lakeland struck first in this game as Montgomery and Yarnell each singled and then scored on a two-run double by Malkamaki for a 2-0 lead. Szoradi followed with an RBI triple for the third run and then Matso singled in a run for a 4-0 lead. Tuscarawas scored three in the second to get within 4-3.
The game didn't stay that close for long as Montgomery belted a two-run home run to center for a 6-3 advantage in the second inning.
The scoring continued for Lakeland in the third as Szoradi doubled to begin the inning and Matso walked. Both scored on a double by Takacs for an 8-3 lead. Yarnell later cleared the bases with a double to center for an 11-3 lead. Malkamaki brought in a run with a single in the infield for a 12-3 advantage. Tuscarawas scored one in the top of the fourth to get within 12-4.
Aey showed some power in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run home run over the fence in center to make the score 14-4 for Lakeland. The Lakers missed out on closing out the game early as Tuscarawas scored four in the fifth to get within 14-8.
What Lakeland missed out on in the fifth, it made up for it in the sixth. Aey and Takacs singled to begin the inning and Montgomery brought both in with a double to center for a 16-8 victory.
Lakeland will next travel to face University of Northwestern Ohio JV on Friday, April 13 at 3:30 p.m. for a doubleheader.
For more information about Lakeland athletics, visit www.athletics.lakelandcc.edu.
About Lakeland Community College
Founded in 1967, Lakeland Community College was the first college in Ohio created by a vote of the people. True to our mission, Lakeland provides quality learning opportunities to meet the social and economic needs of the community.
Offering day, evening, weekend and online classes, the college serves more than 10,800 credit and 2,800 noncredit students (2016). For more information about the College, visit www.lakelandcc.edu.