The recently completed 2016 season marked one of the best years in Youngstown State softball history. The Penguins won 30 games for just the third time in program history and the second time in the last three years, and won a school-best 15 games in Horizon League play. The Penguins finished with a 30-21 overall record and a 15-7 mark in the league.
The 30 wins are tied for the second-most in school history and six away from the school record of 36 set in 2003. The Penguins also won 30 games in 2014. The 15 Horizon League wins broke the old mark of 13 set in 2003.
The Penguins, who finished third in the Horizon League, also rewrote the softball offensive record book breaking seven team records. YSU set records for highest team batting average (.318), most runs (318), hits (456), doubles (79), home runs (51), grand slams (7), and runs batted in (285).
Youngstown State also set two single-game records with 20 hits and 16 RBIs against Green Bay on April 23.
During the course of the year, the Penguins, who won 23 of their final 33 games, owned an eight-game winning streak from March 22 to April 1. That consecutive-game win streak tied for the third longest in school history. The last time YSU won at least eight straight games was in 2004 when it set the school record of 10.
Head Coach Brian Campbell won the 450th game of his career with a 6-2 win over Detroit on May 3. Campbell also moved into second place on the YSU all-time wins list with 170. He needs 38 more to become the winningest coach in school history.
Below is an impressive list of individual accomplishments from the 2016 season:
- Senior Miranda Castiglione posted one of the best single seasons in school history. She batted .450 with 58 runs, 17 doubles, 12 home runs, 49 RBIs, a .828 slugging percentage, an on-base percentage of .549, and 25 stolen bases. An All-Horizon League First-Team selection for the third straight season, Castiglione, a 2016 Horizon League All-Tournament Team pick, set the school record for most runs, RBIs, and highest-slugging percentage in single season.
- The first player in school history to earn first-team all-league honors in three consecutive seasons, Castiglione finished her career as YSU's all-time leader in batting average (.376), runs scored (151), runs batted in (129) and stolen bases (69).
- She also ranks tied for second in career home runs (29), third in career slugging percentage (.610), fourth in career hits (223), tied for fifth in career doubles (38) and tied for sixth in career triples (7).
- Sophomore Cali Mikovich was named All-Horizon League First-Team after batting .398 with 10 doubles, 13 home runs and 41 runs batted in. She led the team with 70 hits and set the YSU single-season home run record. Mikovich became just the fourth player in school history to record at least 70 hits in a season.
- Mikovich, who ended the year with a 15-game hitting streak, also set two single-game records with five hits and five runs scored against Cleveland State on April 13. Her .688 slugging percentage also ranks sixth on the YSU single-season list.
- Mikovich is the first player in school history to hit at least 20 home runs in her first two seasons and ranks seventh on the all-time home run list. Her .617 slugging percentage is currently second on the career list.
- Junior Sarah Dowd was named All-Horizon League Second-Team for the third straight season, and batted .305 with 42 runs scored, 11 home runs and 35 RBIs. Dowd, who ranks second all-time with 29 home runs, became the first player in school history to hit at least 10 home runs in consecutive seasons and has a school-record four grand slams. She also hit 11 home runs as a sophomore in 2015. Dowd now ranks third all-time with 113 runs scored, tied for sixth with 97 runs batted in and tied for fifth with a .536 slugging percentage.
- Freshman pitcher Paige Geanangel was named to the Horizon League All-Freshman Team after leading the team with 17 victories. Her 17 wins are the third-most in a season and the most by a freshman since Kelly Murphy had 22 in 2003. Geanangel, whose 167.2 innings pitched rank tied for seventh on the single-season chart, also posted three shutouts and earned nine victories against Horizon League opponents.
- Junior Caitlyn Minney picked up a career-high 13 victories and 96 strikeouts. Her strikeouts rank 10th on the single-season list and she now fifth all-time with 234 career strikeouts.
- Junior Maria Lacatena had a career-best season with a .342 batting average, seven home runs and 41 runs batted in. She was also named to the Horizon League All-Tournament Team after batting .600 in three games. Her 41 runs batted in ranked tied for second on the single-season list.
- Junior Alex Gibson (.316), sophomore Stevie Taylor (.312) and junior Brittney Moffatt (.310) also had stellar offensive seasons for the Penguins. Gibson drove in 25 runs and had nine doubles while Taylor hit four home runs and drove in 22 runs. Moffatt scored 35 runs and had 12 doubles, three home runs and 24 runs batted in.