The Youngstown State softball team (21-17, 6-4 Horizon League) hosts Wright State in a critical three-game Horizon League series, April 18-19, at the YSU Softball Complex. The Penguins and Raiders are tied for second place and sit one game back of Valparaiso for the Horizon League lead.
The teams will play a doubleheader on Friday and a single game on Saturday. First pitch on Friday is slated for 3 p.m. while Saturday's start is slated for Noon.
The Penguins moved up from fifth place to a tie for second after three-game sweep then-Horizon League leader UIC on April 12-13. The Penguins won, 3-2 and 4-2, on April 12 and 4-3 on April 13.
Brian Campbell Nearing 400th Career Victory
Head Coach Brian Campbell, who has 398 wins, needs just two to reach 400 for his career. His career mark is 398-296-2 in 14 years. His six-year record at YSU is 113-168-1. The Penguins have also won 91 games since the start of the 2011 season.
Keep 'Em Close
The Penguins continue to succeed in tight ball games, posting a 15-6 record in games decided by two-runs-or-less. The Penguins are 10-3 in one-run games and 5-3 in two-run contests.
Miranda Castiglione continues her impressive sophomore campaign with a .390 batting average, six home runs and 21 runs batted in. Castiglione leads the Horizon League with 48 hits, 34 runs scored and 75 total bases, ranks fourth in batting average and a .449 on-base percentage, and fifth with a .610 slugging percentage.
The Crozier 500
Senior Casey Crozier, who leads the team with a 12-5 record and a 2.30 earned-run average, recorded her 500th career strikeout last weekend and become the first YSU pitcher to post at least 50 career wins and 500 career strikeouts. Crozier has 53 wins and 506 strikeouts. Crozier is climbing the single-season strikeout chart this season as well. She has 137 strikeouts this season and needs nine more to move past herself for second place. She posted 145 in 2013. The single-season record of 170 was set by Kelly Murphy in 2003.
Need To Lead After Four
If the Penguins can get through the fourth inning with the lead, there is a good chance they will come out victorious. The Penguins own an 13-2 record when leading after four innings, an 13-0 mark when leading after five and a 14-1 record when leading after six.
Senior Courtney Ewing owned the Penguins longest hitting streak this season at 18 games from March 11 through April 6. She has now hit safely in 24 of the last 26 games and carries a batting average a .341 (30-for-88) during that span. She also has scored nine runs with three double and six runs batted in.
About Wright State
The Raiders enter the weekend with an overall record of 11-26 and a 6-4 Horizon League mark, which is tied for second place with Youngstown State. The Raiders are coming off a three-game sweep over Detroit, April 12-13, and split a doubleheader against Marshall on April 16. Leading the Raiders is Jess Gorman with a .351 batting average and seven home runs. Pitcher Krystian DeWitt leads the Raiders' pitching staff with a 7-10 record, a 3.98 earned-run average and 81 strikeouts.
The Wright State Series
Youngtown State and Wright State have met 63 times previously and the Raiders own a 33-29-1 advantage in the all-time series. Last season, Wright State won the season series, but the Penguins defeated the Raider, 1-0, in the Horizon League Tournament. The Penguins have won four of the last seven contests, dating back to 2012.
The Penguins host Dayton, Monday, April 21, in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.