The Youngstown State softball team scored in the late innings of both games to sweep a doubleheader from Horizon League foe UIC on Saturday afternoon at the YSU Softball Field. The Penguins won the first game, 3-2, and 4-2 in the nightcap.
The Penguins improve to 20-17 overall and 5-4 in the Horizon League while the Flames fall to 10-17 overall and 4-3 in the league.
In game two, junior Kayla Haslett, who picked up her sixth win of the season, helped her own cause with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the fifth inning that broke a 2-2 tie. Freshman Sarah Dowd's RBI-double in the bottom half of the sixth gave the Penguins an insurance run.
Senior Casey Crozier, who was the winning pitcher in game one, pitched two scoreless innings of relief to pick up her first save of the season.
In the opener, the Penguins opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the first inning on sophomore Miranda Castiglione's single to center field that plated Dowd, who led off the game with a walk.
UIC knotted the game up at 1-1 in the top of the third on Paige Peterson's double down the right-field line. Laura Swan led off the top of the fourth with a solo home run to left field to put the Flames up 2-1.
Smallcomb, who went 2-for-4, tied the game at 2-2 with a single to center field to score Castiglione, who walked and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt.
Crozier, who struck out seven, earned her 12th win of the year by tossing a complete game and scattering seven hits.
In game two, UIC struck first in the top of the third inning on Jacki Fletcher's sacrifice foul out to left field.
The Penguins answered with two runs in the bottom half of the frame on RBI-singles by Dowd and Castiglione. Snodgrass' one out walk began the rally and Darcella Blakey's infield single and a UIC throwing error put runners at the corners.
Dowd, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, followed with a single to left field to score Snodgrass and, after a fielder's choice, Castiglione's single to center put the Penguins up 2-1.
A leadoff home run, this time by Natalie Hernandez, tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the fifth inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, Castiglione singled and moved to second on a wild pitch to set up Haslett's two-out, go-ahead single to left field. Snodgrass had a one-out single up the middle and a walk to Maria Lacatena put runners on first and second. Dowd's double to center field scored pinch-runner Alexis Schmidt with the Penguins' fourth run.
The Penguins and Flames will close out the series, Sunday, at Noon, at the YSU Softball Field.