The Youngstown State softball team opens the new YSU Softball Complex with a doubleheader against Eastern Michigan, Tuesday, March 18, at 3 p.m. The Penguins also host Niagara, Wednesday, March 19, at 3 p.m. before beginning Horizon League play by hosting Valparaiso, March 22-23.
The Penguins posted a successful week going 5-2 last week in North Carolina and Maryland. The Penguins took two-of-three games from UNC-Wilmington on March 11-12. The Penguins swept a doubleheader from the Seahawks, 1-0, and 6-5, but dropped a 7-1 decision on the next day. The Penguins also went 3-1 at the Coppin State Tournament, March 14-15. They picked up victories over UMass-Lowell, 5-4, and Mount St. Mary's, 4-2, on day one. The next day, the Penguins dropped a 5-1 decision to LaSalle and a defeated Coppin State, 11-2.
Crozier Breaks Wins Record
Senior Casey Crozier became Youngstown State's all-time wins leader with 47 career victories after defeating Coppin State on March 15. Crozier, who is 6-2 with seven complete games and two shutouts, struck out seven against Coppin State in the record-breaking win. Crozier is also the program's all-time strikeout leader with 432. Both previous records were set by Kim Givens between 1993-96. Givens had 46 wins and 386 career strikeouts.
Brian Campbell Notches 100th Win at YSU
Head Coach Brian Campbell picked up his 100th win at Youngstown State when the Penguins defeated UNC-Wilmington, 6-5, on March 11. Campbell, who has 388 career wins, needs just 12 to reach 400 for his career. His career mark is 388-287-2 in 14 years. His six-year record at YSU is 103-158-1. The Penguins have also won 81 games since the start of the 2011 season.
About Eastern Michigan
Eastern Michigan enters the week with an overall record 7-15. Abby Davidson leads the Eagles with a .283 batting average and five doubles. Pitcher Lindsay Rich leads the staff with a 3-7 record while Abbie Minkser has an earned-run average of 3.20.
This will be the seventh and eighth meetings between Youngstown State and Eastern Michigan. The Eagles own a 4-2 edge in the all-time series after splitting a doubleheader last season. The Eagles won, 5-3, while the Penguins came away with a 13-3 victory in the nightcap.
The Purple Eagles enter the week with an overall mark of 7-9. Ambur Farmer leads Niagara with a .297 batting average. Pitcher Jennifer Sansano leads the staff with a 5-1 record and a 2.09 earned-run average.
The Penguins and Purple Eagles will be playing for the 32nd and 33rd time on March 19. The Penguins own a 24-7 advantage in the all-time series after sweeping a doubleheader in 2012, 5-1 and 10-1.
The Crusaders begin the week with a 5-18 overall record and are 0-7 in road games. Jessie Marinec leads the Crusaders with a .359 batting average while Tarah McShane is tied for the team lead with four home runs. Amanda Wisniewski also has four home runs. Taylor Weissenhofer leads the Crusaders pitching staff with three victories.
The Penguins and Crusaders have met 33 times previously and Valparaiso leads the all-time series, 26-7. Last season, the Penguins and Crusaders met a total of six times. Valpo won the final two meetings in the Horizon League Tournament Championship.
Crozier Named Horizon League Pitcher of the Week
For the second time this season, senior Casey Crozier was named the Horizon League Pitcher of the Week. Crozier went 2-0 last week and broke the Youngstown State all-time wins record with 47. Crozier tied the record with a 1-0 shutout over UNC-Wilmington on March 11. She broke the record by defeating Coppin State, 11-2. For the week, Crozier pitched 17.1 innings with a 1.21 earned-run average and struck out 19. Crozier struck out three against UNC-Wilmington, nine in a no-decision against UMass-Lowell and seven against Coppin State.
Penguins Tough In Close Ones
One reason for the Penguins' early season success is that they have been able to pull out the close games. The Penguins are 6-2 in one-run games. In games decided by two runs or less, the Penguins own an 8-3 mark.
Knight and Day
Senior Haley Knight continues her career-best season for the Penguins. Knight leads the team with five doubles and is second on the squad with a .333 batting average. Knight has more doubles in the first 19 games of 2014 than she had in her first three seasons - five.
Senior Courtney Ewing owns the team's longest current hitting streak at seven games. During that span, Ewing is batting .400 (8-for-20) with three runs batted in. In those seven games, Ewing raised her batting average 80 points from .200 to .280.
Penguins Dig the Long Ball
Over the last seven games, Youngstown State has gone deep four times. Senior Sarah Ingalls belted two home runs while senior Samantha Snodgrass and sophomore Miranda Castiglione each had one. On the season, the Penguins have hit a total of 10 home runs. Castiglione leads the team with four, Ingalls and freshman Sarah Dowd each have two and junior Kayla Haslett and Snodgrass have one each.
After seven straight games at home, the Penguins head back on the road for 10 straight road contests. Next week, the Penguins visit Akron, Tuesday, March 25, at 3 p.m. and Cleveland State for a three-game Horizon League series, March 29-30. The following week, YSU visits Robert Morris, Wednesday, April 2, and Green Bay for a three-game series, April 5-6.
Castiglione Pacing Penguins
Sophomore Miranda Castiglione has been a tough out for opposing pitchers. Castiglione leads the Penguins with a .435 batting average, 19 runs, four home runs and is tied with senior Sarah Ingalls with 13 runs batted in. She is also slugging at a .694 clip and owns an on-base percentage of .485.
Haslett Returning To Form
Junior pitcher Kayla Haslett, who was a Horizon League All-Newcomer Team pick in 2012, is off to a tremendous start for the Penguins. Haslett owns a 5-2 record and a 2.23 earned-run average after her first nine appearances. She is also getting things done at the plate with a 278 batting average and six runs scored. She posted one of her best overall performances in the Penguins' 10-2 win over ACC-member Virginia on Feb. 9. Haslett pitched a complete-game five-hitter with three strikeouts. Haslett also hit a solo home run, scored three times and drove in three runs against the Cavaliers.
Castiglione Named to Canadian Junior National Team
Last summer, sophomore Miranda Castiglione was selected to play for the Canadian Junior National Team. She played in the 2013 ISF X Junior Women's World Championship, July 1-7, in Brampton, Ont. Last season, she batted .283 with three home runs, three doubles, a triple, 18 runs batted in and 19 runs scored as a freshman in 2013.