Crozier goes bananas

Kelly Stowe

Kelly Stowe slides into third base, beating the tag by the University of Detroit Mercy’s Kayla Kostich. YSU won the game, 8-0, on Tuesday. Photo by Dustin Livesay/The Jambar.

After waking at 8:15 a.m., softball pitcher Casey Crozier ate a banana and headed to McCune Park for the Penguins’ matchup against the University of Detroit Mercy.

“Typical Wednesday morning,” she said.

But her starting pitching performance was anything but typical.

In an 8-0 victory for Youngstown State University, Crozier no-hit the Titans in five innings of play. She allowed just one base runner and retired the last 13 batters she faced.

“I’m proud of what Casey did,” said head softball coach Brian Campbell. “It’s a great honor to be able to do that.”

Crozier became the first YSU softball player since 2003 to throw a no-hitter. Neither Crozier nor Campbell were aware of the feat until late in the game.

“When I came in the bottom of the fifth, that’s when [my teammates] said we need two runs, and they were like, ‘You have a no-hitter,’” Crozier said. “I was like, ‘Really?’”

Campbell was just as clueless.

“I didn’t even know until I looked at the stat sheet,” he said. “The reason behind that is that I knew she was going good. Until I actually looked at that and realized that, I didn’t even know it myself.”

While Crozier was excited for her performance, she was pleased with something else.

“I’m glad that we jumped on them early,” she said.

YSU scored four runs in the first inning, keyed by a Vicky Rumph two-RBI single.

“I think it gave our whole team momentum because we have just come off from our loss yesterday,” Crozier said. “Being able to jump on them in the first inning was awesome, and I felt like everybody executed and did their job.”

But on this day, Crozier — who struck out seven Detroit batters — executed the best. Take it from starting catcher Rumph.

“I’m just confident in every single pitch that Casey has; that’s the most important part,” she said. “I can call anything at any given time and know that she’ll throw it for a strike. Her drop ball today was just perfect. When she’s on with that pitch, we can do a lot of awesome things.”

The Penguins were coming off a doubleheader split against the Titans on Tuesday. They won the first game, 5-0, as Crozier pitched a three-hit shutout, but Detroit salvaged the second game, defeating YSU, 4-2.

“It was heads and tails different from yesterday,” Rumph said. “We were aggressive. We took it to them right from the start. I think yesterday’s loss really helped get the fire under us today.”

Sarah Ingalls paced the Penguins with two hits — including a home run — and two RBIs. Courtney Ewing had two hits as well.

With the victory, YSU improves to 8-14 overall and 3-3 in the Horizon League. Detroit falls to 4-28 overall and 1-4 in the conference.

“I think it’s great,” Campbell said of the no-hitter. “But at the end of the day, we’re excited about how they came back from yesterday’s second game.”