CHICAGO, Illinois (WYTV) – The Youngstown State softball team stayed alive in the 2016 Horizon League Championship after a 5-3 win over Green Bay in an elimination game on Wednesday night. The Penguins dropped their opening round game to Valparaiso, 10-6.
The Penguins, who improve to 30-20 on the year, will play the lowest-remaining seed in the loser’s bracket tomorrow at 6 p.m. EDT. The win marks just the third time in school history the Penguins have won at least 30 games in a season and the second time in the last three years.
The Penguins scored four runs in the bottom half of the first inning to jump out to an early 4-0 lead. After Sarah Dowd led off with a walk, sophomore Cali Mikovich, who went 3-for-4, doubled down the left-field line scoring Dowd from first.
Miranda Castiglione doubled to left-center field on the next pitch to plate Mikovich and put the Penguins up, 2-0. Following a single by Brittney Moffatt, junior Maria Lacatena’s two-run double to left-center extended the Penguins lead to 4-0.
In the bottom of the fourth, Castiglione scored ffrom third on a double steal to push the YSU lead to 5-0.
Green Bay scored twice in the sixth and once in the seventh off of YSU starter Paige Geanangel, who improve to 17-11, but junior Caitlyn Minney shut down the Phoenix to earn her third save of the season.
Against Valparaiso, the Penguins committed three errors and allowed seventh walks in the 10-6 loss.
Castiglione began the scoring with a solo home run in the bottom half of the first inning to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.
The Crusaders scored a pair of runs in the second and an unearned run in the third to take a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom half of the third, Mikovich belted a two-out solo home run, her 13th homer of the season, and Moffatt laced a double to right field to score Castiglione and tie the game at 3-3.
Valpo regained the lead, 5-3, with a pair of runs, one unearned, in the top of the fourth and took a 6-3 lead with a run in the top of the sixth.
The Penguins cut the deficit to 6-5 in the bottom of the sixth on Dani Dadig’s basee-loaded walk and Alexandria Gibson’s sacrifice fly.
Valpo, though, plated four runs in the top of the seventh to put the game out of reach.