This upcoming week may be one the busiest for the Youngstown State softball team with seven games on the slate. The Penguins visit Akron, Tuesday, and host Saint Francis (Pa.), Wednesday, and UIC in a three-game series on Saturday and Sunday.
The Penguins (16-15, 3-4 Horizon League) visit Akron in a rescheduled doubleheader from March 25. First pitch on Tuesday is slated for 3 p.m. at the Lee R. Jackson Softball Field.
About The Zips
The Zips enter the week with a 15-8 overall record and have a home mark of 2-2. Leading Akron is Jessica Reiman with a .359 batting average while Jessica Schneider is second with a .347 average. Pitcher Erin Seller leads the staff with a 9-4 record and a 2.18 earned-run average.
The Akron Series
Youngstown State and Akron have meet 64 times previously and the Zips own a 44-19-1 advantage in the all-time series. During the last meeting, the Penguins played to a 5-5 rain-shortened tie in 2012. The Penguins won the first game of that doubleheader, 7-6.
Fill The Hill
The Youngstown State Athletics Department and Student Activities have joined forces to host a Fill the Hill student promotion, Wednesday, April 9, at the YSU Softball Complex. Free T-shirts will give passed out to the first 200 students in attendance. The Penguins host Saint Francis (Pa.) in a doubleheader at 3 p.m.
About Saint Francis (Pa.)
The Red Flash enter this week with an overall record of 18-10. Chelsy Cosentino leads the squad with a .377 batting average while Alexis Bower leads the team with five home runs and 29 RBIs. Bower, who is batting .337, is the Red Flash's ace in the circle with a 10-4 record and a 2.65 earned-run average.
The Saint Francis (Pa.) Series
Youngstown State and Saint Francis have met 31 times previously and the Penguins own a 21-10 advantage in the all-time series. Last season, the Penguins swept the season series with a pair of extra inning victories. The Penguins won game one, 5-3, in 10 innings and game two, 8-5, in eight innings.
UIC enters the week with an overall record of 9-14, but is 4-1 in Horizon League play. Kacki Fletcher leads the Flames with a .462 batting average while Natalie Fernandez is hitting at a .421 clip with five home runs. Bridgit Boyle leads the Flames' pitching staff with a 5-4 record and a 4.46 earned run average.
The UIC Series
In the previous 44 contests, UIC has been victories 32 times, including taking two out of three last season. The Flames and Penguins split a doubleheader on day one. The Flames won, 5-1, while the Penguins won in eight innings, 6-5. The Flames won the rubber match, 3-2.
The Crozier 500
Senior pitcher Casey Crozier is Youngstown State's career strikeout leader with 479. She needs just 21 more to become the first pitcher in school history to post 500 strikeouts in a career. Crozier, who has 110 strikeouts this season, leads the Horizon League in strikeouts and innings pitched with 97.0.
Castiglione Among Horizon League Best
Sophomore Miranda Castiglione has been performing among the best in the Horizon League. Castiglione, who is batting .400, leads the league with 40 hits, 29 runs scored and 66 total bases. She is second in home runs with six and a .459 on-base percentage, and third in batting average and slugging percentage at .660.
Penguins One of Top Offenses
The Penguins are at or near the top of the Horizon League in several categories. The Penguins lead the league with 234 hits and 41 doubles, and rank second in batting average (.275), slugging percentage (.390), on-base percentage (.344), runs scored (128), runs batted in (120) and home runs (17).
Ingalls in the Clutch
Senior Sarah Ingalls has been the Penguins' top run producers. Ingalls leads the team with 21 RBIs and ranks tied for third in the Horizon League. More impressively, 10 of Ingalls' 21 runs batted in have come with two outs.
Penguins Like Em' Juiced
Youngstown State has been flourishing at the plate when the bases are loaded. As a team, the Penguins are batting .390 (16-for-41) when the bases are full. Senior Haley Knight is 3-for-4 in bases-loaded situations while freshman Sarah Dowd and junior Kayla Haslett are each 3-for-5.
Last Time Out
The Penguins salvaged a doubleheader split against Green Bay on Sunday, dropping the first game, 5-2, but winning the nightcap, 2-0. Casey Crozier tossed a three-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts to post her fourth shutout and 10th win of the season. Freshman Sarah Dowd's solo home run in the top of the sixth inning gave Crozier just enough offense to pick up the win.