Kent State won its second consecutive Jacoby Trophy
For the second year in a row and 11th time overall, Kent State won the Jacoby Trophy, awarded annually to the top women’s athletic program in the Mid-American Conference.
“Receiving the Jacoby Trophy is an incredible honor and a testament to the hard work that is consistently put in throughout the year,” said the Golden Flashes athletic director. Randale L. Richmond mentioned. “This is truly a departmental award and exemplifies our guiding principle of being student-athlete centered, coach led and administrator supported.”
The Flashes competed in 11 women’s sports throughout the 2021-22 campaign, winning conference titles in women’s golf (MAC record 23rd straight season), field hockey and gymnastics. Women’s soccer finished tied for second in the regular season and won the MAC championship game last fall, while women’s track and field added a second spot at the MAC Outdoor Championships.
Miami finished second, followed by Akron.
Since the MAC began awarding the all-sports award in 1983, the Flashes have won or finished second in 20 of 39 years. Kent State also won the Jacoby Trophy back-to-back in 1996-96 and 2004-05.
The Flashes men’s program finished second to Toledo in the Reese Trophy standings.
Baseball: Justin Kirby Named All-MAC First Team
Kent State Senior Outfielder Justin Kirby earned first-team All-MAC honors while three teammates also received playoff recognition.
Kirby led the Flashes in added hits (33), doubles (17) and home runs (15) this spring while batting .323 with 14 stolen bases (tied for first). His 13 home runs at the MAC are tied for the conference lead. Kirby finished in the top 10 overall for the MAC in several categories, including slugging percentage (third, .646), hits (10th, 64), doubles (ninth, 17), and homers (second).
Kirby was the MAC Freshman of the Year and a Freshman All-American in 2019.
Second-year shortstop Mike McNamara and second fielder Josh Johnson were named second-team All-MAC, while junior wide receiver KSU Justin Miknis was named to the MAC All-Defensive Team.
McNamara hit 0.338 overall and 0.368 during MAC play. He ranked fourth in the MAC in slugging percentage (.641) and finished with 11 home runs and 39 RBIs in 39 games.
Johnson had a stellar season in 2022, hitting .371 overall (fourth in the MAC) and .381 in the conference — both team highs. Johnson had 10 doubles, nine home runs, 43 RBIs and 14 stolen bases.
Miknis recorded a .990 field percentage with 25 assists behind the plate. He knocked out 15 runners on the base paths, who placed second in the MAC.
Ben Cruikshank Named MAC Pitcher of the Week
Kent State junior left-handed Ben Cruikshank was named MAC pitcher of the week after posting a shutout in his final start of the 2022 season last Friday.
Cruikshank walked just three bases while striking out eight batters in seven innings, leading the Flashes to a 5-0 win over Eastern Michigan.
Opposing batters only hit .185 in the 2022 season against Cruikshank, the MAC’s lowest average. He went 3-1 with a 4.39 ERA in conference.
Field hockey: Azure Fernsler named Academic All-District
Kent State Goalie Azure Fern was named to the All-Academic District Women’s First At-Large Team for District 5. 2021 MAC Defensive Player of the Year and National Coaching Association Division I Senior Team Selection field hockey players graduated in December with a degree in environmental studies.
Fernsler ranked eighth nationally in save percentage (.800) last fall.
Softball: Jessica LeBeau receives honors from all regions
Flashes the sophomore pitcher Jessica LeBeau was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division I All-Mideast Region Third Team. She ranked in the top five in the MAC for ERA (2.58), strikeouts (155), and opponent’s batting average (.198).