Coming off a three-game sweep of Cleveland State, the Youngstown State softball team (19-6-1, won't have much time to rest hosting Saint Francis (Pa.) in a doubheader, Tues. April 3, at 3 p.m. at McCune Park and visiting Horizon League foe Loyola in three-game series, April 6-7, in Chicago, Ill.
The Penguins did not fall last week going 4-0-1. The Guins defeated Akron, 7-6, and tied the Zips, 5-5, after game two of a twinbill was called due to darkness. The tie against the Zips was just the third tie in the 33-year history of YSU fastpitch softball. YSU swept Cleveland State, 3-2, 10-8, and 7-1 over the weekend. It was the first three-game sweep of a Horizon League opponent since the Guins swept Detroit in 2010.
About Saint Francis (Pa.)
The Red Flash are currently 14-12 and own a 5-3 record in road games. Brooke Koch leads the pitching staff with a 6-1 record and a 1.37 earned-run average. Kaitlin Andler leads the Red Flash with a .359 batting average while Taylor Parsons is batting .325. The Guins and Red Flash have met 27 times previously and YSU owns a 17-10 advantage in the all-time series.
Loyola is currently 9-14 overall and 3-3 in the Horizon league. The Ramblers lost two-out-of-three to Butler last weekend. Leading the Ramblers is Annie Korth with a .308 batting average, while Lauren Arceneaux has a team-best five home runs. Brittany Gardner leads the pitching staff with a 5-4 record and 59 strikeouts.
Guins One of Top Staffs in HL
The Penguins pitching staff has pitched superbly through the course of the first 26 games of the season. As a staff, YSU leads the Horizon League with a 2.55 earned-run average. The Guins' pitchers have a held opponents to a league-low .253 batting average. The Guins have also allowed league lows in runs scored (90) and earned-runs allowed (63).
Youngstown State currently ranks second in the Horizon League with a .323 team batting average. Seven players are batting above .325, including two above .400, and four rank in the top 11 in the league in batting average. Senior Haley Thomas ranks second (.446), junior Vicky Rumph is third (.409), senior Jordan Ingalls is eighth (.366) and junior Sarah Gabel ranks 11th (.347).
Ingalls In the Clutch
Senior Jordan Ingalls seems to be at her best at the most critical moments. The senior outfielder is batting .457 with runners in scoring position, . 375 with runners on base. Most recently, Ingalls belted a walk-off solo home run to beat Cleveland State on March 31.
Haslett Hearts Grounders
Freshman Kayla Haslett has been a great asset to the Penguins' pitching staff this season. Not only is the right-hander second in the Horizon League with a 2.05 earned-run average, she is an infielder's dream. In 58 innings pitched this season, Haslett has induced 105 ground outs compared to just 44 fly outs. Haslett averages 12.67 groundouts per game. She also has 16 strikeouts.
Thomas Among League Leaders
Haley Thomas is having a standout senior season. The four-year starting center fielder ranks in the top nine in nine different Horizon League statistical categories. She leads the league in on-base percentage (.515), second in the league in batting average (.446), tied for second in doubles (10), third in hits (37), total bases (62) and slugging percentage (.747), fourth in runs scored (24), tied for fourth in home runs (5) and tied for sixth in runs batted in (22).