YSU Softball Wins Horizon League Championship
Tiffany Patteson hit a walk–off home run to right field and Karlie Burnell picked up her fourth win of the tournament as the Penguins defeated UIC, 2-1 in the Horizon League Softball Championship at McCune Park to advance to their first–ever NCAA Tournament.
Patteson, who was named to the all-tournament team with a .467 batting average, belted a one-out, 2-0 pitch over the right-field wall for her fourth home run of the season to break a 1-1 tie.
Sophomore McKenzie Bedra, who was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, cranked her fifth homer of the tournament, a two-out solo shot, in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the game. Bedra, who hit .700 in the postseason, set the tournament record for most home runs (five) and total bases (18), and twice tied a tournament single game record for home runs with two against both Detroit and Wright State. She was also named the Offensive Player of the Tournament.
After giving up a run on two hits in the top of the first inning, Burnell, an all-tournament team selection, held the Flames at bay for the second straight contest by limiting the top seed to just five more hits and did not allow a runner past second base. Burnell finished the tournament with an impressive 4-0 record and a 2.76 earned-run average.
Freshman Allyse Ledford, who batted .556 with a home run and three runs scored, was named the tournament’s most outstanding defensive player. Ledford did not make an error in 25 total chances at second base for the Penguins, who did not make an error the entire tournament.
Burnell tossed a complete game with three strikeouts and freshman Kristen McDonnell went 3-for-4 with a double to lead Youngstown State to a 3-2 victory over Illinois-Chicago to earn a berth in the title game of the 2006 Horizon League Softball Championship.
The Penguins jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Bedra’s sacrifice fly to center field. After Becky Hibner walked, McDonnell doubled down the left field line to move Hibner to third. Jamie Fornal walked to load the based and Hibner scored on Bedra’s fly out.
The Flames quickly knotted the game on Nikki Shepard’s two-out infield single in the bottom half of the inning.
YSU regained the lead with two runs in the top of the second frame. Ledford led off the inning with an infield single and moved to second on Lacy Bronson’s sacrifice bunt. After Bethany Hafley reached on an error, Patteson drove in Ledford with a single to the right side and advanced Hafley to third. Hafley scored on a wild pitch while Patteson stole second and advanced to third on the same pitch but was stranded at third.
Burnell held the Flames at bay stranding 10 runners, including two runners in the fourth, one in the fifth, and three in the sixth. UIC plated one run n the bottom of the seventh on Liz Jacoby’s single to center field, but Burnell induced Shepard to hit into a fielder’s choice and Nicole Robinson to line out to second base to end the game.
Bedra belted two home runs to lead Youngstown State to a 6-4 victory over Wright State to advance to the winner’s bracket final. Bedra set a new Horizon League Tournament record with four home runs.
With the game tied at 4-4 in the bottom of the third inning, Bedra led off the frame with her third home run of the tournament to give the Penguins a 5-4 advantage. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Bedra set the Horizon League Tournament homer record and gave the Penguins a 6-4 lead.
Wright State jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning on Danielle Dean’s two-out double.
The Penguins, who managed just five hits, answered with four unearned runs in the bottom half of the frame. After Bedra walked and Ledford singled, Bronson’s sacrifice bunt and a Raider error scored Bedra and moved Ledford to third.
Lacey Hess walked to load the bases and Patteson, who went 2-for-4, singled to plate Ledford and Bronson. Back-to-back walks to Hibner and McDonnell gave the Penguins a 4-2 lead.
Bedra hit two of Youngstown State’s school-record four home runs and the Penguins banged out 15 hits in a 12-3 victory over Detroit in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament.
The Penguins jumped on the Titans early with three runs in the first inning capped by Bedra’s two-run home run. Patteson, who went 3-for-3, led off the game with a double to left field, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Jamie Fornal’s single to left field. Fornal, who went 3-for-4 with four runs batted in, scored on Bedra’s home run.
Detroit answered with a Kristen Martin home run in the bottom half of the first to cut the lead to 3-1, the Penguins sent 10 players to the plate and scored five runs in the top of the second to extend their lead to 8-1.
Hess doubled to right-center field to lead off the frame and scored on a Detroit fielding error. After McDonnell singled Bedra blasted a three-run home run over the left-center field fence making the score 7-1. Ledford followed with her second home run of the year to push the YSU lead to seven, 8-1.
Fornal’s fourth home run of the season, a three-run shot, in the top of the third inning gave the Penguins an 11-1 advantage.
The Penguins added another run in the top of the fifth on Ledford’s sacrifice fly to center field.
Detroit added two runs in the bottom of the fifth and left two runners on base when the game ended because of the eight-run rule.