Impressive stat line earns Kent State’s Ronnie Ladines USA Softball Collegiate National Player of the Week
OKLAHOMA CITY — A sensational week at the plate and steadfast performances in the circle earned Kent State’s Ronnie Ladines (Arlington, Wash.) the Week 14 USA Softball Collegiate National Player of the Week USA Softball announced today. The senior contributed to the success of the Golden Flashes, who captured the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament Championship to earn a spot in the NCAA Division I Softball Championship. This marks the first USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week honor for Ladines, who was named the MAC Tournament MVP for her efforts at the plate and in the circle.
"This is a huge honor and I am so excited that I was able to do my part in helping Kent State get back to the NCAA Tournament,” said Ladines. “Not many teams have been able to win three games in one day in the history of our conference tournament, but every single player on our team believed we were going to do it. We used three different catchers, three different pitchers and our whole team contributed, which is awesome."
In her first appearance in the circle at the MAC Tournament, Ladines threw a one-hitter with 13 strikeouts while also contributing at the plate with a solo home run in a 4-1 win over Ball State. In Kent State’s next match against Western Michigan, Ladines went deep twice with four RBI as part of a three-hit day at the plate. She also held Western Michigan to just one earned run as the Golden Flashes captured a 9-3 win in their second game of the tournament. Despite suffering a 2-0 loss at the hands of Ohio in their next contest, Ladines helped her team accomplish the improbable by winning back-to-back games to earn a spot in the MAC Tournament Championship Game. Against Northern Illinois, Ladines homered twice while earning a 9-3 win in the circle before entering in the eighth inning to earn the save in their rematch against Ohio.
Once again squaring off against Ohio for the third time in the MAC Tournament, Kent State came out on top thanks in large to Ladines’ gutsy performance. Allowing just three hits in the Championship Game, Ladines hit a two-run home run in the first inning to help the Golden Flashes capture a 3-0 win.
“Ronnie had a stat line that could possibly be the best in the history of our conference tournament,” said Kent State Head Coach Eric Oakley. “Winning the championship was a team effort, but Ronnie definitely led us. She was the arm that we rode in the circle, had multiple key hits and was extremely vocal in the dugout. She just wanted that championship so bad and took it to another level."
On the week, Ladines hit .529 (9-for-17) at the plate, posting a 1.353 slugging percentage after hitting four home runs and collecting seven RBI while scoring five times. In the circle, Ladines went 4-1 with a save, posting a 1.06 ERA with 34 strikeouts.
This marks the first USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week for Ladines and the first for an athlete from Kent State since Week Seven of the 2016 season when Holly Speers earned the accolades. The Golden Flashes will now head to Waco, Texas for NCAA Regional action this weekend. The Golden Flashes earned the No. 4 seed in the Waco Regional and will square off against No. 13 Baylor.
2017 USA Softball National Collegiate Players of the Week
Week 1 (Feb. 9-12): Sierra Hyland – Cal Poly – Senior – Pitcher – Visalia, Calif.
Week 2 (Feb. 13-19): Alyssa Denham – Louisiana – Freshman – Pitcher – Alvin, Texas
Week 3 (Feb. 20-26): Mo Mercado – Arizona – Senior – Infield – Temecula, Calif.
Week 4 (Feb. 27-March 5): Nicole Schroeder – Arkansas – Senior – Outfield – Yorba Linda, Calif.
Week 5 (March 6-12): Alexis Osorio – Alabama – Junior – Pitcher – Riverside, Calif.
Co-Week 6 (March 13-19): Braxton Burnside – Missouri – Freshman – Infield – Paragould, Ark.
Co-Week 6 (March 13-19): Sierra Hyland – Cal Poly – Senior – Pitcher – Visalia, Calif.
Week 7 (March 20-26): Danielle O’Toole – Arizona – Senior – Pitcher – Upland, Calif.
Week 8 (March 27 – April 2): Kaylan Jablonski – Nebraska – Junior – Pitcher – Omaha, Neb.
Week 9 (April 3-9): Rachel Garcia – UCLA – Freshman – Pitcher – Palmdale, Calif.
Co-Week 10 (April 10-16): Kelly Barnhill – Florida – Sophomore – Pitcher – Marietta, Ga.
Co-Week 10 (April 10-16): Caroline Seitz – Mississippi State – Senior – Infield – Birmingham, Ala.
Week 11 (April 17-23): DJ Sanders – Louisiana – Junior – Infield – Columbus, Miss.
Week 12 (April 24-30): Sara Hingsberger – Weber State – Senior – Infield – Eagle, Idaho
Week 13 (May 1-7): Maggie Good – IUPUI – Senior – Infield – Rochester, Ind.
Week 14 (May 8-14): Ronnie Ladines – Kent State – Senior – Pitcher – Arlington, Wash.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 70 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million. USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch. USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships. The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.
As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.
About the NCAA Women’s College World Series
USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium – OGE Energy Field serves as the home to the NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS). For the 27th year, the top eight college teams in the nation will head to Oklahoma City and compete for a national championship. Last year, over 78,000 fans attended the WCWS. Be there to Share The Experience with softball fans from across the country June 1-7 in Oklahoma City. Tickets for the 2017 NCAA WCWS are on sale now, click here to purchase your tickets and secure your championship experience!