The Youngstown State softball team (14-19) gears up for a busy five-game week when it visits Niagara in a doubleheader, April 5, and hosts Horizon League leader in a three-game series, April 8-9. First pitch on Wednesday is at 3 p.m. and Saturday's doubleheader is slated for a 3 p.m. start. Sunday's single game will start at noon.
Niagara enters the doubleheader with a 7-13 record and have lost its last nine games. Jerri Ann Orfano leads the Purple Eagles with a .364 batting average, two home runs and 11 RBIs. Sierra Bertrand leads the pitching staff with four victories and 47 strikeouts.
Last Time Out
The Penguins dropped the season series to Horizon League foe Valparaiso last weekend and fell to 4-2 in the league. After winning the first game, 6-1, the Penguins fell, 4-1 and 6-5.
Christy Named Player of the Week
Youngstown State University freshman Tatum Christy has been the Horizon League Softball Player of the Week, the league announced on Monday.
This is the first weekly award of Christy's career, and the second straight week a YSU player has won a league award. Last week, freshman Maddi Lusk won the league's pitcher of the week award.
Last week, Christy led the Penguins to a 3-2 week and batted .727 in five games last week going 8-for-11 with a triple, home run and seven RBIs. She also posted a slugging percentage of 1.182. It marked Christy's first career home run and triple.
The New Franklin, Ohio, native and went 4-for-4 with a triple and a home run and four RBIs in a 6-1 win over Valparaiso on April 1. She also went 3-for-4 with two RBIs in 6-5 loss to the Crusaders on April 2.
Dowd Ties Career Home Run Record
With a solo home run in the top of the fifth inning on Sunday against Valparaiso, senior Sarah Dowd tied the Youngstown State career home run record with 34. She tied McKenzie Bedra, who played for the Penguins from 2005-08. Dowd is the only player in school history with at least 30 home runs, 100 runs scored and 100 RBIs. She ranks third with 130 runs score and tied for fourth with 116 runs batted in.
Bats Heating Up
Over the last 12 games, the Penguins' bats have been picking up some steam. In those games, the Penguins are batting .299 as a team and averaged nearly eight hits per game. Freshman Maddi Lusk posted an average of .353 with four doubles and five runs batted in.
Lusk Leading Horizon League
Freshman Maddi Lusk has been putting her stamp on the Horizon League. She leads the league in strikeouts (88), innings pitched (117.1) and starts (19), ranks second in victories (9) and third in earned-run average (2.27).
Minney Fifth All-Time in Strikeouts
Senior Caitlyn Minney ranks fifth all-time with 272 career strikeouts. She needs just 28 more to become the fifth pitcher in school history to record 300 career strikeouts.
Guins Dig the Long Ball
In 33 games this season, the Penguins have hit 19 home runs. Senior Maria Lacatena leads the team with six while senior Sarah Dowd has five. Senior Alexandria Gibson and juniors Cali Mikovich and Stevie Taylor each have two while senior Brittney Moffatt and freshman Tatum Christy have one each. Four players on the roster have at least 11 career home runs - Dowd (34), Mikovich and Lacatena (22) and Taylor (11).