Softball Sets Consecutive Win Record With Doubleheader Sweep of Niagara

Elizabeth Birkbeck (Photo by Chris Kilroy)
Elizabeth Birkbeck (Photo by Chris Kilroy)

Niagara University, N.Y. -- The Youngstown State softball team set a program record by winning for the 11th consecutive time after sweeping Niagara, 8-3, 6-5, on Wednesday afternoon at the Niagara Softball Field. The old record of 10 was set in 2004.

With the sweep, the Penguins improve to 15-17 overall while the Purple Eagles fall to 2-19.

In the opener, junior Elizabeth Birkbeck went 3-for-3 with a home run, double and five runs batted in while freshman Grace Cea went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs.

Freshman Addy Jarvis (9-6) continued her dominance in the circle with a complete-game victory with a career-high 15 strikeouts and allowing just five hits.

The Penguins jumped out to a 2-0 lead after a run-scoring double by Maddi Lusk in the top of the first and a solo home run by Birkbeck in the top of the second.

In the top of the third, the Penguins extended their lead to 6-0 after a two-run home run by Cea and a two-run double by Birkbeck.

Birkbeck's two-run single in the top of the fourth pushed the YSU lead to 8-0.

Niagara scored three in the bottom half of the fourth to cut the lead to 8-3, but Jarvis struck out seven of the final 12 outs.

In the nightcap, the Purple Eagles scored three times in the bottom of the fourth and twice more in the bottom of the fifth to take a 5-2 lead after five.

Youngstown State answered with four runs on four hits in the top of the sixth to take a 6-5 lead. Cea, Tatum Christy and Sophia Patonis, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI, each single to load the bases and Alex DeLeon's walk plated Cea and cut the lead to 5-3. Sophomore Nikki Saibene bases-clearing double to left field scored Christy, pinch-runner Sarah Bader, and DeLeon with the go-ahead run.

After leadoff walk, senior Paige Geanangel forced a sacrifice bunt and two more groundouts to register the win.

Youngstown State returns to Horizon League action against Detroit Mercy, April 5-6, in Detroit, Mich.