By Jeff Brown
The Youngstown State University softball team lost all three games of its series with Wright State University over the past weekend. The Penguins entered the series tied for first place in the Horizon League, but could fall as far as fifth place depending on the upcoming week.
YSU drops to 11-18 on the year and 4-4 in Horizon League play, while Wright State improves to 10-24 and 6-2 in the Horizon League.
The Penguins lost the first two games of the series in a doubleheader on Saturday where they lost 5-0 and 9-1. YSU managed only six hits through both games.
Catcher Maria Lacatena hit a homerun in the first game to give the Penguins their only run of the day. Lacatena’s homerun cut the Wright State lead to 4-1. Wright State scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to increase its lead to 8-1. After the Raiders added an extra run, the game was called in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The offense was unable to get anything going in the second game. The Penguins only recorded three hits in the second game. Wright State shortstop Becka Peterson hit a two-run homerun in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Pitchers Ashley Koziol and Caitlyn Minney were credited with losses on the day. Koziol allowed only six hits through five innings in the first game, but the offensive struggles were too much for her to overcome.
Koziol drops to 4-4 on the year, while Minney falls to 4-7.
In the final game of the series on Sunday, the Penguins put up more of a fight, but were still unable to come out on top losing 8-7.
The Penguins fell behind early 3-1, but thanks to an explosive six-run fifth inning took a 7-1 lead with just two innings to go. Starting pitcher Kayla Haslett helped out her own cause with a grand slam, the first of her career and the 13th in school history.
Wright State however, took advantage of three errors by the Penguins — two in the fifth and one in the sixth inning — to close out the victory. The Raiders scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game at 7-7.
During the bottom of the sixth, Raiders centerfielder Jess Gorman scored on an error by YSU shortstop Stevie Taylor. The unearned run gave Wright State an 8-7 lead heading into the final inning.
Haslett was credited with the loss and is now 3-7 on the year.
Up next for the Penguins is a double header on April 7 at St. Francis University, before heading back home to resume Horizon League play against Cleveland State University on Friday and Saturday.