Penguins power their way to Horizon League Tournament

YOUNGSTOWN, OH (WYTV)-Last year Sarah Dowd hit 11 home runs for YSU which tied the single season home run record. This year,she’s done it again, except she’s not alone. Senior Miranda Castiglione has also gone yard 11 times this season and sophomore slugger Cali Mikovich has homered 12 times, putting her name at the top of list schools single-season home run list.

“It’s awesome, it’s awesome having three girls there,” said senior Miranda Castiglione.

“That’s what you want. We’re a really competitive team so we push each other.”

“It is fun,” says Mikovich, the Fitch grad.

“We’ve all seen each other hit key home runs, and we’ve all had at least one grand slam this year.”

“I think the wow moment is 7 grand slams, out of the 49 home runs,” said head coach Brian Campbell.

“You know the young ladies firmly believe in that, and they’re excited about that, having that opportunity of one swing can change the ballgame.”

And one player, can elevate a program. Castiglione will graduate with at least a dozen school records. She’s a career .372 hitter and no one has scored more, stolen more bases, or knocked in more runs than Castiglione. Even the safety netting at batting practice isn’t high enough to keep her blasts from reaching the McDonald’s drive thru line behind left field.

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years and she’s one of the top athletes I’ve been able to coach,” said Campbell.

“It’s cool, It’s definitely been a lot of fun winning this season. It’s been one of the best seasons yet. Stats aren’t big to me at all, I just try to have fun.”

The Penguins are also breaking new ground as a team. They’re hitting a program best .315 and have scored more runs than any team in YSU history. Their offense also ranks 1st in the Horizon League in almost every statistical category.

“Oh my gosh even hearing you say that, I’m like yeah, other teams should be scared of our offense,” laughed Mikovich

“Yeah I think this team here has put everything together. But they’re staying within themselves and not trying to do anything above and beyond,” Campbell says.

“The biggest thing for me and I stressed this to the team at the very beginning is have fun,” says Castiglione.

“It’s a sport, we’re supposed to have fun playing sports. So just remembering that and going after it.”


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