By Cameron Niemi
The Youngstown State University women’s softball team opened up Horizon League play at home for the first time this season. The women hosted Purdue University of Fort Wayne in a doubleheader March 21.
The Penguins came into the game with a 7-13 overall record and played all of those games on the road. After losing four straight, the Penguins bounced back and got the sweep against the Mastodons. They won the first game by a final score of 4-3.
Sophomore pitcher Bree Kohler got the victory on the mound for the Penguins.
In the first game, Purdue Fort Wayne jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning. In the bottom of the fifth inning, senior Megan Turner hit a two-run home run, cutting the deficit to one.
In the bottom of the sixth, senior Hailey Roach hit a RBI single to tie the game at 3. In the bottom of the seventh with bases loaded, senior Conchetta Rinaldi hit a RBI single to left field and gave the Penguins their first home victory of the season.
The Penguins also won the second game in a dominant fashion with a final score of 7-3, and started off conference play 2-0.
Purdue Fort Wayne got off to a hot start and scored two runs in the top of the first inning. Youngstown State scored in the bottom of the first and pulled within one run.
In the second inning, the Penguins caught fire as they scored three runs and took the lead. In the bottom of the third, Roach hit a two-run home run to left field that extended the teams lead. Turner continued the streak, hitting a RBI double putting the Penguins up 7-2 heading into the fourth.
Neither team would score the rest of the game and the ‘Guins would secure their second victory of the day. Junior pitcher Sophie Howell secured the win for the Penguins.
Head coach Brian Campbell spoke after the game about the team’s performance and how it will take on Morehead State University for another doubleheader.
“We will have a little bit of different lineups, this year is the most that I have done rotations. For the most part we have rotated,” Campbell said. “Even when we rotate they are expected to compete and do those things there that anybody else in the lineup would do.”
The softball team remained at home for another doubleheader March 22 and hosted Morehead State at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. For stats and game results, visit ysusports.com.
The Penguins will travel to Detroit to play a three-game series against the University of Detroit Mercy.
First is a doubleheader at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. March 25, followed by the final game at 1 p.m. March 26. To watch the games, go to ESPN+ or view live stats on ysusports.com.