By Marc Weems
The Youngstown State softball team dropped a Horizon League doubleheader to the University of Detroit Mercy on Friday. The Penguins fell in the opener 4-0 and lost the nightcap 6-4.
The Penguins fell to 10-17 overall and 1-4 in the Horizon League while the Titans improved to 8-18 overall and 3-2 in the league. The game one win also snapped a 14-game losing streak to the Penguins.
In the opener, pitcher Paige Geanangel scattered just six hits, struck out two and allowed just one earned run in a tough loss.
Detroit Mercy’s Ashley Mauser fired a two-hit shutout and struck out a career-high 15. Freshmen Yazmine Romero and Nikki Saibene tallied the Penguins’ only hits.
The Titans jumped out to an early 4-0 lead scoring four runs in the top half of the second inning.
Youngstown State rallied with two runs in the second, one in the third and one more in the fourth to tie the game at 4-4.
In the bottom half of the second, Stevie Taylor, who had two hits, singled to lead off the inning and senior Cali Mikovich drove a 2-1 pitch over the left-center field wall to cut the lead in half. It was Mikovich’s first home run of the season and the 24th of her career.
Maddi Lusk began a two-out rally in the third with a double to right-center field and Taylor walked putting runners at first and second. Mikovich lined a double down the right-field line to plate Lusk and got the Penguins within one, 4-3.
Sophomore Tatum Christy tied the game up at 4-4 with a solo home run in the bottom half of the fourth inning.
Freshman pitcher Elle Buffenbarger came in relief and threw a solid 5.2 innings tying a career high with six strikeouts. The Titans finally got to Buffenbarger in the top of the seventh scoring two runs on a double and suicide squeeze.
The Penguins and Titans close out the series with a single game on Saturday. First pitch is at noon.
The Youngstown State University softball team got back in the win column on Saturday, March 31 with an 8-0 win over the Titans.
Junior Paige Geanangel tossed a five-hit, complete-game shutout and junior Lexi Zappitelli went 3-for-3 with four RBIs to lead YSU.
The Penguins improved to 11-17 overall and 2-4 in the Horizon League while the Titans fell to 8-19 overall and 3-3 in the league.
Zappitelli had a two-run double in the second and a two-run triple in the fourth and also scored a run.
The Penguins jumped on the Titans early with a four-run first inning. Senior Hannah Lucas was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and advanced to second on Yazmine Romero’s infield single. Zappitelli’s bunt single and an errant throw allowed Lucas to score the game’s first run and placed runners at second and third.
Maddi Lusk’s double to centerfield plated Romero and Zappitelli and Lusk scored on another Titan throwing error.
Zappitelli laced a two-run double down the left field line to score senior Alexis Roach and Lucas, who both walked.
Tatum Christy’s one-out double down the left-field line set the table for Zappitelli’s heroics in the fourth inning. After a walk to Lucas, Yazmine Romero reached on a fielder’s choice before Zappitelli tripled to center field plating Lucas and Romero.
Besides tossing a shutout and striking out two, Geanangel fielded her position brilliantly with two putout and three assists, including an inning-ending line-drive double play in the top of the second inning.