The Youngstown State softball team returns to action and plays its first home games of the year when it hosts Akron in a doubleheader, Tuesday, March 21. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. at the YSU Softball Field.
The Penguins are slated to host St. Bonaventure in a doubleheader, Thursday, March 23, 3 p.m. and open Horizon League play with a three-game series against Oakland, March 24-25. First pitch on Friday is slated for 3 p.m. and Saturday's doubleheader is set for 1 p.m. All five games are at the YSU Softball Field.
Akron enters the doubleheader with an overall record of 10-12, but has lost six of its last nine games. Ashley Sims leads the Zips with a .348 batting average while Savannah Fruin has a .333 batting average and a team-high four home runs and 21 RBIs. Lexie Handley leads the staff with a 9-6 record and a 3.15 earned-run average.
Last Time Out
Over spring break, the Penguins went 3-4 during their last seven games with a win over Presbyterian and a pair of shutouts over Siena. Freshman Maddi Lusk went 2-1 with a 1.95 earned-run average and 22 strikouts. Offensively, junior Cali Mikovich batted .375 with two doubles and drove in five runs.
Dowd Approaching Home Run Record
Senior Sarah Dowd is second on the team with three home runs in 2017 and has 32 for her career, which ranks second all-time. She needs two more to tie and three more to break the Youngstown State all-time record of 34 set by McKenzie Bedra (2005-08). Dowd is also the only player in school history with five career grand slams.
Mad About Maddi
Freshman pitcher Maddi Lusk has been impressive in the circle for the Penguins. She leads the team with three victories and two shutouts. Last week, Lusk fired a pair of shutouts over Siena, a one-hitter and a two-hitter. She also had a perfect game for 5.2 innings before Siena collected two straight singles in the sixth inning on March 11.
Mikovich Dialed In
Junior Cali Mikovich started to heat up at the plate over the last nine games. She batted .375 (9-for-24) with three doubles and five RBIs. Her batting average climbed 48 points during that time.
Lacatena Climbing HR Chart
Senior Maria Lacatena leads the team with four home runs and has moved into the top 10 on the career home run chart. Lacatena ranks eighth all-time with 20 and sits just behind Cali Mikovich at seventh with 21 career homers. Three members of the 2017 team rank in the top eight on the career home run list. Senior Sarah Dowd is second all-time with 32.