The Youngstown State softball team scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning en route to a 9-5 win over Northern Kentucky on Wednesday afternoon.
The Penguins win the season series over the Norse and improve to 15-19 overall and 6-6 in the Horizon League. Northern Kentucky falls to 17-13 overall and 4-4 in the league.
Northern Kentucky jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top half of the first, but the Penguins answered quickly.
Freshman Yazmine Romero singled and sophomore Maddi Lusk walked, and, after a sacrifice bunt by Lexi Zappitelli, senior Cali Mikovich laced a run-scoring single to right field to plate Romero with the Penguins first run.
Back-to-back walks to Stevie Taylor and Hannah Lucas got the Penguins within one, 3-2, and Tatum Christy's two-run single to left gave the Penguins a 4-3 lead. Freshman Nikki Saibene's two-run double scored Christy and Lucas with the Penguins' fifth and sixth runs.
After the Norse cut the YSU lead to 6-4 in the top of the fifth, the Penguins answered with three in the bottom half of the inning. Taylor and Lucas each singled to lead off the frame and moved up a base on a passed ball. Both scored on an errant throw from the outfield on a fly out by Christy. Alexis Roach singled and stole second and third and scored on another throwing error to put the game out of reach.
NKU added one more run in the top of the seventh.
Romero, Zappitelli and Roach each had two hits while freshman Elle Buffenbarger picked up her fourth win of the year striking out six in 3.2 innings pitched.
Youngstown State closes out its 16-game homestand against Niagara, Friday, April 13, at 3 p.m.