Softball Drops Pitchers' Duel to Cleveland State, 2-1

Ashley Koziol (Photo by Kevin Davis)
Ashley Koziol (Photo by Kevin Davis)

Youngstown, Ohio -- The Youngstown State softball team received two solid pitching performances from freshman Ashley Koziol and senior Kayla Haslett, but the Penguins dropped a 2-1 decision to Cleveland State on Sunday afternoon at the YSU Softball Field.

Koziol allowed just six hits and two runs while striking out three in 5.1 innings, but suffered the loss. Haslett allowed just one hit in 1.2 innings and had a strikeout.

With the loss, the Penguins fall to 12-20 overall and 5-6 in the Horizon League while the Vikings improve to 19-14 overall and 4-5 in the league.

CSU's Cynthia Woodard hit a two-out solo home run in the top of the first inning to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead. 

Koziol retired the next six CSU batters and her teammates knotted the game up at 1-1 in the bottom of the third inning. Sophomore Maria Lacatena double to right-center field scored Katie Smallcomb from first base to tie the game, but Lacatena was stranded on third.

In the top of the fourth, Koziol faced a bases-loaded, no-out situation, but escaped the jam with a strikeout, a foul out and a line out to first base. Freshman first baseman Kelly Thompson-Cappadocio snagged a would-be extra-base hit down the right-field line to retire the side. 

CSU's Susan Knight, who picked up the win, slugged a solo home run to lead off the sixth inning to give the Vikings a 2-1 lead. The Vikings then loaded the bases with one out, but Haslett staved off any more damage by inducing a force out at the plate and a fly out to right field.

The Penguins threatened in both the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings, but Knight and reliever Alex Radjen, who earned the save, denied the Penguins.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Penguins had the tying run at third with no outs when Sarah Dowd singled to lead off the inning and moved to third on Brittney Moffatt's infield single and an error. Radjen, though, induced a pop out, strikeout and a flyout to get out of the jam.

Haslett led off the bottom of the seventh with a double to center field, and after a flyout, Smallcomb walked, which put the winning run on first base.

Radjen struck out the next two batters to save the victory for the Vikings.

The Penguins host Akron, Tuesday, April 14, at 3 p.m. at the YSU Softball Field.