Softball Sweeps Season Series From Cleveland State

Elizabeth Birkbeck
Elizabeth Birkbeck

Cleveland, Ohio -- The Youngstown State team swept the season series from Cleveland State after sweeping a doubleheader, 5-2, and 6-3, on Saturday afternoon at Viking Field.

The Penguins, who have won four straight, improve to 19-20 overall and 9-6 in the Horizon League while the Vikings fall to 13-25 overall and 3-8 in the league.

In the opener, sophomore Elizabeth Birkbeck went 2-for-3 and hit a grand slam in the top of the first inning to lead the Penguins offensively. Junior Lexi Zappitelli also had a run-scoring double in the top of the fifth inning to seal the win.

Junior Paige Geanangle picked up her ninth win of the season after tossing a four-hit complete game with six strikeouts and allowed just one earned run.

In the nightcap, sophomore Maddi Lusk went 3-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored while Zappitelli went 3-for-4 to lead the Penguins' 12-hit attack.

Freshman Elle Buffenbarger struck out five in 5.1 innings pitched to pick up her seventh win of the year, and Geanangel earned her second save of the season pitching 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.

Youngstown State used a four-run third inning to jump out to a 4-0 lead. Zappitelli hit a run-scoring single to left field and senior Stevie Taylor's bunt single scored Lusk, who singled, while Birkbeck's double to right field to score Zappitelli and Taylor scored on a passed ball.

The Vikings cut the lead in half bottom of the fifth with a pair of runs. However, the Penguins answered with a run in the top of the sixth when Lusk hit a solo home run left-center field to extend the Penguins lead to 5-2.

Cleveland State added a run in the bottom of the sixth but YSU added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Nikki Saibene scored on a Yazmine Romero ground out.

Youngstown State begins a three-game series at Wright State, April 24-25.