Comeback Win in Nightcap Propels Softball to Series Sweep

Maddi Lusk (Photo by Robert Hayes)
Maddi Lusk (Photo by Robert Hayes)

Denmark, Wis. -- Junior Maddi Lusk delivered a two-out run-scoring double in the top of the seventh inning to lift the Youngstown State softball team to a come-from-behind 6-5 victory over Green Bay in game two of a doubleheader on Saturday. The Penguins won the opener, 8-0, in five innings and swept the season series from the Phoenix. Head Coach Brian Campbell also won his 250th game at YSU with the Penguins' win in game one.

With the wins, the Penguins improve to 25-27 overall and 13-9 in the Horizon League while the Phoenix fall to 12-29 overall and 7-17 in the league.

Youngstown State trailed 5-1 after four innings but scored two in the fifth, one in sixth and two more in the seventh for the win. 

Prior to Lusk's heroics Lexi Zappitelli reached on an error and scored the game-tying run on freshman Grace Cea's two-out double to right-center field.

Sophomore Nikki Saibene began the comeback with a two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning to cut the Phoenix lead to 5-3. Lusk also scored an unearned run in the top of the sixth the get YSU within one, 5-4.

In the opener, the Penguins scored eight runs on four hits in the top of the fifth inning en route to the five-inning victory.

After a run-scoring double by Zappitelli and a run-scoring single by Lusk, junior Elizabeth Birkbeck clobbered a two-out grand slam to put the Penguins up 6-0. It was the second grand slam of Birkbeck's career and she is just the third player in school history to hit multiple grand slams. 

Two batters later, Saibene hit a two-run home run to give the Penguins an 8-0 lead.

Sophomore Elle Buffenbarger struck out eight in five innings and allowed just two hits to pick up her eighth win of the year.

Youngstown State will participate in the 2019 Horizon League Softball Championships, May 8-11, in Chicago, Ill.