By Jeff Brown
Youngstown State University split its doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon against the St. Bonaventure University Bonnies.
In game one, YSU trailed 3-1 entering the seventh and final inning, but the Penguins were able to rally back to tie the game at three, all with two outs. With the game looking like it was heading to extra innings, center fielder Cali Mikovich stepped up to plate and delivered a line drive up the middle to ensure the Penguins a 4-3 victory. Mikovich finished the day 3-4 at the plate with one RBI.
“That was a tremendous job the way the ladies worked themselves on base and continued that inning, for us to come up there with three runs in the bottom of the seventh and win it,” head coach Brian Campbell said. “You know, I think each person in front of [Mikovich] did a good job, and Cali did a tremendous job of turning on a pitch and scoring that last run to win it.”
YSU pitcher Kayla Haslett was awarded the win and improves to 5-10 on the season. Haslett came in relief of starter Caitlyn Minney in the fourth inning, and held the Bonnies scoreless in 2.2 innings of work — striking out three of the nine batters she faced.
Game two was a different story for the Penguins, as they were unable to keep up with the scoring of the Bonnies losing 13-7. St. Bonaventure was able to jump out to an early 3-2 lead, and this time never looked back. The Penguins made an attempt to come back in the fourth and fifth innings scoring five of their seven runs — two in the fourth and three in the fifth.
Two errors in the fifth inning however appeared to deflate the Penguins comeback chances. Two runs scored on one play after a fielding error by shortstop Katie Smallcomb, and a throwing error by left fielder Sarah Dowd.
“I think that what it comes down to is you got to continue to do your best there. [Errors are] part of the game, and I think we did a good job of staying right there until the last little bit,” Campbell said.
Pitcher Ashley Koziol was given the loss, bringing her record to 7-10 on the year. Koziol allowed three runs on six hits in three innings of work. Haslett came in to relieve Koziol, but she allowed five runs on seven hits in three innings. Minney pitched the final inning — allowing five runs on four hits.
YSU’s record moves to 18-28 on the year, with only a three-game series against Horizon League foe Valparaiso University left before the Horizon League tournament. The Penguins are 7-10 in Horizon League play this season.
“They’ve gotten a lot of experience through everything so I couldn’t be more proud of how they’ve done,” Campbell said.
The Penguins’ series against Valparaiso is scheduled to begin May 1 at the Valparaiso University Softball Field. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.