Softball Hosts Kent State in Home Opener, Oakland in HL Opener This Week

Maddi Lusk
Maddi Lusk
• First Pitch
After playing its first 20 game on the road, the Youngstown State softball team hosts Kent State in a doubleheader in the 2019 home opener, Wednesday, March 20. First pitch against the Golden Flashes is set for 3 p.m. The Penguins also host Oakland in three-game series, March 22-23, to open Horizon League play. The Penguins and Golden Grizzlies will play a single game, Friday, March 22, at 3 p.m. and a doubleheader, Saturday, March 23, at 1 p.m.
Up Next
The Penguins continue their nine-game homestand next week with a pair of non-league doublheaders against Akron, March 26, and St. Bonaventure, March 27. Both doubleheaders are slated to begin at 3 p.m.
 Penguins Picked Second
The Youngstown State softball team has been predicted to finish second in the Horizon League after a vote of the league's head coaches, the league announced. UIC was picked to win the 2019 Horizon League regular-season championship with all nine first-place votes and 81 total points followed by the Penguins with 69 points.  Checking in at third place in the poll is last year's tournament runner-up Oakland (63 points). In fourth position in the poll is Wright State (44 points). Northern Kentucky (40 points) and IUPUI (39 points) were chosen fifth and sixth respectively in the poll. Rounding out the 2019 Preseason Poll are Detroit Mercy (36 points), Green Bay (22 points), and Cleveland State (11 points).
About Kent State
Kent State enters Wednesday's doubleheader with an overall record of 6-14, but has played 11 games against nationally-ranked opponents and two more against teams receiving votes. The Golden Flashes pickup a doubleheader sweep over B1G foe Penn State on Feb. 9 and beat No. 21 Baylor twice on Feb. 23. Kent State just lost three games to No. 25 Michigan, March 14 and March 17. Leading the Golden Flashes is Bailey Brownfield with a .327 average and Carlee Selle with a .318 average. Andrea Scali has picked up all six of the Kent State victories.
• About Oakland
Oakland owns an overall record of 7-11 and has won three of its last five games. Brittney Miller leads the Golden Grizzlies with a .491 batting average and has driven in 15 runs. Lauryn DeBono, Chelsea Wiggins and Haley Bartholomew each have two wins while DeBono leads the team with a 3.84 ERA and 28 strikeouts. 
 Geanangel, Buffenbarger Moving Up Ks Chart
Senior Paige Geanangel and sophomore Elle Buffenbarger are both moving up the YSU career strikeout list. Geanangel now ranks eighth all-time with 192 strikeouts and Buffenbarger is ninth with 184. The last sophomore pitcher to accumulate 200 career strikeouts was Casey Crozier, who had 224 through two full seasons.
• Campbell Collected Coaching Milestones
Youngstown State Head Coach Brian Campbell picked up a pair of coaching milestones during the 2018 season. Last year, Campbell won the 500th game of his career on April 10, 2018, with a 2-1 win over Northern Kentucky. Campbell also became Youngstown State's all-time winningest coach when he earned his 208th win at YSU on March 10, 2018, with an 11-5 win over North Carolina A&T. Campbell owns a career mark of 515-426-2 in his 19th season and has 230 wins in his 11th year at Youngstown State.