Softball Visits NKU, Hosts UIC in Pair of Horizon League Series

Alex DeLeon (Photo by Robert Hayes)
Alex DeLeon (Photo by Robert Hayes)

First Pitch
The Youngstown State softball team (21-22, 9-4 Horizon League) returns to action with a pair of Horizon League series this week. The Penguins visit Northern Kentucky, April 23-24, in Highland Heights, Ky., and hosts league-leader, UIC, April 26-27.

Gameday Promotions
On April 26, the YSU Athletic Department will have YSU Stadium Cup Giveaway while April 27 will be the final McDonald's "Homerun' Giveaway of the season. If a YSU player hits a home run in either game during Saturday's doubleheader each fan will receive a coupon for free McDouble from McDonald's.

Up Next
The Penguins close out the regular season with a three-game series against Green Bay, May 3-4. 

About Northern Kentucky
The Norse enter the series with an overall record of 14-25 and 7-7 in the Horizon League. Northern Kentucky is coming off a series loss to UIC, April 19-20, but won the season series over Green Bay, April 12-13. Leading the Norse is Zahrya McFarland with a .330 batting average while Ava Lawson owns an average of .324. Taylor Ginther leads the pitching staff with nine wins, 72 strikeouts and a 2.76 earned-run average.

About UIC
UIC leads the Horizon League with a 12-3 league mark and owns an overall record of 22-20. The Flames have three players batting about .400 led by Lexi Watts with a .461 average. Sklyee James boasts a .441 average while Kayla Wedl is batting .432 with 11 home runs, 49 RBIs and an .803 slugging percentage. Allie Trudeau leads the staff with 10 wins while Marley Hanlon carries a team-best 4.63 earned-run average. In league play, the Flames are batting an impressive .383 as a team.

Penguins Like Late Leads
Youngstown State has been successful when owning a lead after the fourth inning. The Penguins are 20-1 when leading after four innings, 17-0 when leading after five and 18-0 when leading after six innings.

Home Cooking
The Penguins have been a tough team to beat when playing at the Covelli Sports Complex. Youngstown State owns an 12-3 overall home record and a 7-2 mark against Horizon League opponents. Sophomore Yamine Romero leads the offense with a .347 batting average in home games. Addy Jarvis owns a 6-1 record with a 2.01 earned-run average and 71 strikeouts while Elle Buffenbarger is 4-1.

Geanangel Thriving In League Play
Senior Paige Geanangel is pitching her best when she's facing league opponents. Geanangel owns a 3-1 record with a 2.17 earned-run average and her opponents are batting .198. 

Zap Attack
Senior Lexi Zappitelli has been a tough out for Horizon League pitchers this season. Zappitelli leads the Penguins with a .378 batting average in league play and has scored nine runs. Overall, Zappitelli leads the team with a .311 batting average.

See Ya, Cea
Freshman Grace Cea has turned up the offensive production against league opponents. Cea is batting .349 with 11 runs, four doubles, three home runs, 11 runs batted in and a .651 slugging percentage. Overall, Cea is batting .290 and leads the team with 22 runs, nine doubles and 29 runs batted in.

Penguins Set Consecutive Win Record
Youngstown State broke a 15-year-old record by winning 11 consecutive games from March 20 through April 3. The old record of 10 was set in 2004.

Jarvis Set Single-Game Ks Record, Among Tops in HL
Freshman Addy Jarvis set the Youngstown State single-game strikeout record with a career-high 15 Ks against Niagara on April 3. She is also making her mark as one of the top pitchers in the Horizon League. She is tied for the league lead with six shuouts and is second in the league lead with 11 wins and 167 strikeouts. She is third with a 2.65 ERA and tied for third with 14 complete games. Her 167 strikeouts also rank third on the YSU single-season list and she needs 13 more to break the YSU freshman strikeout record set by Kelly Muprhy in 2003.

Saibene Ties RBI Mark
Sophomore Nikki Saibene became just the second player in school history to drive in seven runs in a game when she hit a three-run home run and a grand slam against Oakland on March 24. Saibene is also the 18th player in school history to hit a grand slam. The last player to hit two home runs in a game was Saibene in 2018 against Green Bay at the Covelli Sports Complex.
 
Geanangel, Buffenbarger Moving Up Ks Chart
Senior Paige Geanangel and sophomore Elle Buffenbarger are both moving up the YSU career strikeout list. Buffenbarger now ranks sixth all-time with 224 strikeouts and Geanangel is eighth with 215. That duo also became the eighth (Buffenbarger) and ninth (Geanangel) players in school history to record at least 200 career strikeouts. The last sophomore pitcher to accumulate 200 career strikeouts was Casey Crozier, who had 224 through two full seasons. Geanangel also ranks eighth all-time with 68 career games started and 10th all-time with 435.1 innings pitched.