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.
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.