Big Inning Leads Softball to 9-2 Win Over Valparaiso, Campbell's 200th Win at YSU

Maddi Lusk
Maddi Lusk

Chicago, Ill. -- No. 2 Youngstown State scored eight runs in the bottom of the third inning en route to a 9-2 win over No. 3 Valparaiso in the Horizon League Championship on Thursday evening. The win also marked Head Coach Brian Campbell's 200th win at Youngstown State.

The Penguins, who improve to 30-26, will play top-seeded UIC, Friday, May 12, at 3:30 p.m, EDT/2:30 p.m. CDT in the winner's bracket finals. It marks the first time in school history that Youngstown State has won 30 games in consecutive seasons.

Valparaiso falls to 28-22 and plays the winner of the Detroit-Wright State game in an elimination contest at 1 p.m. EDT/12 p.m. CDT

Freshman Maddi Lusk went 3-for-4 with an RBI at the plate and fired a three-hitter with four strikeouts to pick up her 16th win of the season.

Senior Maria Lacatena and junior Cali Mikovich each had two runs batted in while juniors Hannah Lucas and Stevie Taylor and freshman Tatum Christy each drove in a run.

After falling behind 2-0 after two innings, the Penguins scored eight unearned runs to put the game away. With two outs, Lacatena laced a two-run single up the middle to score Lucas and Christy with the game-tying runs.

Senior Sarah Dowd reached on an infield single and senior Brittney Moffatt scored on an error to give the Penguins the lead, 3-2.  A single by Lusk, back-to-back bases-loaded walks to Christy and junior Stevie Taylor, a single up the middle by Lucas and a bases-loaded hit by pitch by Mikovich plated five more runs for the Penguins.

Mikovich gave the Penguins an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth with a double to left-center field that scored Lucas with the game's final run.