Youngstown, Ohio -- Junior Sarah Dowd tied the single-season home run record with her fourth career grand slam to lead the Youngstown State softball team to a 12-4 win over Northern Kentucky in game one of a doubleheader split at the YSU Softball Field. The Penguins lost the second game, 12-9.
Dowd, who blasted her 11th home run of the year, went 2-for-4 with four RBIs to lead the Penguins, who improved to 28-19 overall and 14-7 in the Horizon League.
Northern Kentucky improved to 13-38 overall and 5-16 in the Horizon League.
The Penguins sent 12 batters to the plate and scored eight runs in the bottom of the first inning of game one. Cali Mikovich, who had two hits, stole home on a double steal to start the Penguins scoring. Stevie Taylor singled to right to plate Castilgione, Maria Lacatena's double to down the right-field line scored Brittney Moffatt and Katie Smallcomb's single to right field brought home Taylor with the Penguins's fourth run.
After a walk and a fielder's choice, Dowd launched a 2-1 pitch high over the left field wall to extend the Youngstown State lead to 8-0.
The teams each scored runs in the second inning, and the Penguins added three more in the bottom of the third keyed by an RBI-single by Miranda Castiglione and extended the lead to 12-1.
Northern Kentucky added two runs in the top of the fourth and another in the top of the fifth.
In the nightcap, the Penguins banged out 14 hits led by Taylor's 3-for-4 performance and Maria Lacatena's three-run home run.
After giving up a run in the top of the first inning, Castilgione blasted a two-run home run off the scoreboard in right-center field and Taylor laced solo shot over the left-field wall to take a 3-1 lead.
The Norse tied the game at 3-3 with a pair of runs in the top of the third and took a 6-3 lead with three runs in the fourth.
Moffatt's run-scoring double down the right-field line to plate Castilgione and get the Penguins within two, 6-4.
After Taylor reached on an error, Lacatena blasted a towering three-run home run to center field to put the Penguins up, 7-6.
NKU answered with six runs in the top of the sixth inning to take a 12-7 lead. The Penguins added two more runs in the bottom half of the seventh, but left two runners on base.
The Penguins and Norse conclude the regular season with a single game at 11 a.m. at the YSU Softball Field.