The Youngstown State softball team hit five home runs, including four in game one, to earn a doubleheader split against Green Bay on Saturday afternoon. The Penguins won the opener, 9-2, but fell 3-2 in game two.
The Penguins, whose nine-game win streak was snapped, improve to 24-21 overall and 14-7 in the Horizon League while the Phoenix improve to 10-33 overall and 7-11 in the league. The win streak marked just the fourth time in school history the Penguins had won at least nine consecutive games.
In the opener, the Penguins belted four home runs to support junior Paige Geanangel's superb two-hit performance in the circle. Geanangel gave up two unearned run in the top of the fifth inning and only Green Bay's Chyanne Onstad recorded hits off of Geanangel. The home runs also marked just the eighth time in school history the Penguins hit at least four home runs in a game. The last time was at Cleveland State on April 13, 2016.
Freshman Nikki Saibene, who went 3-for-3 with two home runs and three RBIs, broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning with a two-out, two-run home run to left-center field.
Green Bay tied the game with a pair of unearned runs in the top of the fifth, but the Penguins plated six runs in the bottom half of the frame to take an 8-2 lead. Yazmine Romero led off the inning with an infield and sophomore Maddi Lusk clobbered a two-run home run to right-center field to break the 2-2 tie. After Lexi Zappitelli single and stole second, senior Cali Mikovich laced a single up the middle to plate Zappitelli and give the Penguins a 5-2 lead.
Senior Carey Smith, who entered the game as pinch-runner and scored on Saibene's first home run, collected her first career hit - a two-run home run to center field, and put YSU up 7-2. Saibene closed out the scoring in the fifth with her second home run, a solo shot, to left field.
Tatum Christy's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth closed out the scoring to give the Penguins a 9-2 win.
In the nightcap, senior Stevie Taylor belted a two-run home run to left field to erase a 1-0 deficit and put the Penguins up 2-1.
Green Bay though scored two runs in the top of the seventh on Onstad's two-out, two-run double down the right-field line.
Freshman Elle Buffenbarger struck out a career-high nine and allowed just four hits in the hard-luck loss.
The Penguins close out the regular season at UIC, May 4-5, in Chicago, Ill.