By Cameron Stubbs
The Youngstown State University softball team has been hosting fall softball games or “fallball” at the Covelli Sports Complex.
These games do not count toward the official season in the spring, but do serve as an opportunity to develop the players and coaches chemistry and prepare them for the spring.
Head softball coach Brian Campbell talked about the development process that has already begun for the team.
“We have seven new players, we lost eight last year to graduation,” Campbell said. “It is very important for us to develop, we do a lot of stuff and try to press the envelope a little bit … These games are all about learning.”
One of the newcomers to the team is freshman pitcher Madison Griffin from Ligonier Valley High School in Pennsylvania. where she was a four-year letterwinner and two-time First-Team All-State selection.
Griffin pitched against Slippery Rock University and allowed one hit in six shutout innings. She talked about how this fall experience is helping her prepare for the spring season.
“It’s huge,” Griffin said. “[fallball] is made for mistakes and to learn from them to get better for the season … Softball is a game of momentum, obviously as I got better and better I started to gain more confidence and started to spin the ball better.”
Decorated YSU pitcher Elle Buffenbarger graduated this past spring season after five years at Youngstown State, but has returned in a new role as the Penguins’ assistant softball coach.
Buffenbarger talked about what it means to be back where she made so much history as a player.
“It’s definitely an adjustment but I think it’s really exciting to take what I learned and pass it on to the next generation of softball players at Youngstown [State],” Buffenbarger said. “When I got the job, I was like this is awesome. This is a school I love, a city I love and getting to stay with the program in any capacity is awesome.”
The softball team will host four more games this fall including a doubleheader Friday, Sept. 30 versus Notre Dame College and Walsh University.
Catch these games at the Covelli Sports Complex and stay up to date on all YSU softball at ysusports.com