Softball Notches Doubleheader Sweep Over Oakland

Elle Buffenbarger (Photo by Chris Kilroy)
Elle Buffenbarger (Photo by Chris Kilroy)

The Youngstown State softball team pushed its Horizon League win streak to three after sweeping a doubleheader from Oakland on Saturday afternoon at the Covelli Sports Complex. The Penguins won the opener, 8-3, and 9-3 in the nightcap.

Youngstown State improves to 13-17 overall and 4-4 in the Horizon League while Oakland falls to 8-19 overall and 2-3 in the league.

The Penguins came back to win the opener by scoring six runs over the final three innings after trailing 3-2 through four. Youngstown State scored three in the fifth, two in the sixth and one more in the seventh.

Junior Paige Geanangel tied a career-high with seven strikeouts and allowed just six hits in her complete-game victory and earned her 29th career win.

YSU cranked out 11 hits led by Hannah Lucas, Lexi Zappitelli, Yazmine Romero and Cali Mikovich, who each had two. Maddi Lusk drove in three runs for the Penguins.

The Penguins jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Oakland knotted the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the third and took a 3-2 lead after adding a run in the bottom of the fourth.

In the top of the fifth, Lucas led off the inning with an infield single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Lusk to tie the game at 3-3. Zappitelli gave the Penguins a 4-3 lead when she scored on a wild pitch and Mikovich's two-out double plated Taylor to put the Penguins up two.

Freshman Milena Lacatena crushed a solo home run to lead off the top of the sixth to extend the YSU lead to 6-3. It marked the first hit of Lacatena's collegiate career. Zappitelli singled and later scored on Lusk's fielder's choice.

Freshman Nikki Saibene belted her fourth homer of the year, a solo shot, in the top of the seventh top cap the YSU scoring.

In the nightcap, freshman Elle Buffenbarger struck out eight 4.1 innings of relielf to earn her third win of the year. She scattered just three hits and gave up one run.

The Penguins again jumped out to an early lead and used the late innings to put the game away.

Youngstown State capitalized on an Oakland error in top of the third to score three times, including two unearned runs. Zappitelli singled home Tatum Christy, who reached on an error, and later scored on a wild pitch. Mikovich singled up the middle to drive in Romero and put the Penguins up 3-0.

In the bottom half of the frame, back-to-back two-out errors by Youngstown State led to a pair of unearned runs for Oakland, and the Golden Grizzlies tied the game at 3-3 with a run in the bottom of the four inning.

Lusk bashed a two-run home run in the top of the fifth to regain the lead for YSU, 5-3.

The Penguins added four more in the top of the seventh on a two-run triple by Mikovich, a sacrifice fly by Elizabeth Birkbeck and run-scoring double by Christy.

The Penguins and Golden Grizzlies conclude the series with a single game, Sunday, at 2 p.m.