Softball seeks victories on the road

Senior Hailey Niederkohr runs to third base after a hit. Photo by Dylan Lux / The Jambar

By Marissa Masano / The Jambar

The Youngstown State University women’s softball team continued its Horizon League schedule against Oakland University on April 5 and 6 and Robert Morris University on April 9 and 10.

The Penguins fell to Oakland, 5-4, which ended their 11-game win streak. Graduate student Sara Fessler opened scoring in the top of the first inning, but Oakland’s offense took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second.

Tying the game in the top of the third, Fessler scored off senior Jillian Jakse’s single to left field.

The Penguins grasped a lead in the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, senior Hailey Niederkohr scored off a single from Fessler, and in the fifth, senior Elyssa Imler added a run to make the score 4-2.

In the bottom of the seventh, Oakland scored three runs to clinch the win.

Fessler was two-for-three at the plate and finished with two runs scored and an RBI.

On April 6, Youngstown State closed out the series with a doubleheader. The Penguins defeated the Golden Grizzlies, 3-1, in game one.

The Penguins combined for 10 hits, as freshman Lydia Wilkerson, fifth-year senior Conchetta Rinaldi, Jakse and Imler had two hits each.

Scoring started at the top of the fourth, as Jakse doubled to left field and allowed Fessler to score for the Penguins. Oakland responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the fourth inning.

In the top of the fifth, the Penguins scored twice. With bases loaded, Imler scored to give the Penguins a one-run advantage. Imler scored another assurance run from a Niederkohr single to solidify the victory.

Senior Elyssa Imler makes contact with a pitch last season against RMU. Photo by Dylan Lux / The Jambar

On the defensive side, senior Devan Ryan allowed six hits to earn her fifth win in the season.

In the second game, the Penguins lost to Oakland, 3-0, and only tallied three hits.
Heading into the three-game spread against the Colonials, the Penguins were 10-2 in the Horizon League.

The Penguins swept the Colonials on the road April 9. In the first game of the doubleheader, Youngstown State took a 1-0 victory.

The only run came in the top of the fifth inning when freshman Macy Littler tripled to left field, allowing Imler to score the winning run. The Penguins tallied four total hits throughout the game.

Defensively, the Penguins were strong from the mound with senior Sophie Howell having a complete-game shutout. Howell only allowed three singles on three-hits with no walks allowed to earn her 15th win of the season.

Youngstown was victorious in the second game, 2-0. Fessler opened scoring for the Penguins with a solo home run in the top of the first inning — her seventh of the year.

Fessler converted again with a single to left field, allowing Littler to score the Penguins’ second run of the day. Fessler finished the game with two hits alongside Littler to lead the team offensively.

Ryan allowed only three hits facing 18 batters and collected her sixth win of the season. The senior secured five scoreless innings before Howell relieved her. Howell went on to face seven batters, striking out four to complete two scoreless innings.

The Penguins will conclude their three-game series with the Colonials at 3 p.m. on April 10. For stats, visit

Youngstown will pause Horizon League action as the team travels to Morehead State. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively on April 16 in a doubleheader against the Eagles.

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