By Cameron Niemi
The Youngstown State University softball team traveled to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay for a three-game series April 21 to 22.
The Phoenix defeated the Penguins 9-8 in eight innings in the first game. The women were down 5-7 heading into the sixth inning.
The ‘Guins tied the game and by the top of the seventh inning, senior Avery Schumacher hit an RBI single, giving the team an 8-7 lead. Green Bay went on to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. The Phoenix scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth.
In game two of the doubleheader, Youngstown State was defeated 4-3. The Penguins held a 1-0 lead heading into the fourth inning. Senior Conchetta Rinaldi hit a two RBI single, which gave the team a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the fourth, Green Bay went on and scored two runs.
With a one-run lead by the Penguins, the Phoenix scored two more runs in the bottom of the seventh and held the team scoreless the rest of the game.
In the final game of the series, the Penguins were held scoreless, in a 8-0 loss. The Phoenix played well defensively, especially one the mound, as they held the ‘Guins to just two hits.
Youngstown State has an opportunity to bounce back with six games remaining in the regular season, all being conference games. Three games will be at home — including senior night — then three on the road to end the regular season.
Head coach Brian Campbell spoke about the upcoming series against Cleveland State University, which is currently one game ahead in the standings and the team’s game plan.
“Try to play solid defense and good pitching, nothing has changed. When you overthink sometimes that’s where it becomes a little bit harder,” Campbell said. “Go out and play our game, go out and play individually and as a team. Let it fall where it does and compete.”
Despite coming four-straight road losses, the Penguins have an 20-23 overall record and are 8-8 in the conference, and currently sit in 5th place in the Horizon League.
Rinaldi spoke about the season coming to an end and playoffs on the horizon.
“These six games are so crucial as to where we stand and how we move forward. Taking it game by game and doing what we know how to do and getting back to playing YSU softball. There’s no better place to do it than the home field, so we’re excited,” Rinaldi said.
With senior day coming up, senior Sara Fessler spoke about returning home to honor the seniors.
“Throughout my college career I have never loved playing at home more than I do at Youngstown,” Fessler said. “I know we’re gonna play our best games at home just because we are in front of family and friends and we always get a lot of support. It’s going to be really exciting to play and we’ll play our best games for sure.”
The Youngstown State softball team will return home for a three-games series to host Cleveland State. The women will play a doubleheader at 2 p.m and 4 p.m. April 27, then at 2:30 p.m. April 29. To view live stats, go to ysusports.com.