By Pete Mollica
Junior Haley Thomas pounded out two home runs and sophomore Hana Somogyi tossed a five-inning, two-hit shutout as Youngstown State softball team swept a Horizon League doubleheader from Detroit on Wednesday afternoon at McCune Park.
The 5-foot-4 Thomas, the Penguins center fielder, crushed a two-run homer in the second and a solo blast in the fourth as YSU (21-14, 4-7 Horizon) blanked the Titans 8-0 in the nightcap.
Sophomore Vicky Rumph belted a two-run homer and freshman Casey Crozier scattered eight hits to lead the Penguins to a 6-2 win in the opener.
The Penguins have won six of their last seven games and went over the 20-win mark in a season for the first time since 2006.
“These girls have made some major adjustments over the past week and it has really paid off,” said YSU coach Brian Campbell. “We faced a very good pitcher last week in Chicago and they had to make some adjustments with their bats and they did it again today.
“We got two excellent pitching performances from Hana and Casey and the offense came through with the key hits and none were bigger than the three home runs,” he added.
Somogyi (9-5) recorded her second shutout in a week. She also struck out seven, walked just two batters and was never in serious trouble.
“I struggled a little early in the game, but I just felt myself getting stronger as the game went on,” Somogyi said. “I had trouble with my curveball early, but it came around later in the game. But with the support I had from the offense I was never in real trouble.”
Thomas, who leads the Penguins with six home runs, is excited about the way the team in playing right now.
“Everything is finally starting to come together,” she said. “We got good pitching and we hit the ball very well today and played very good defense.
“I really wasn’t looking for anything special up at the plate, but she got me on a curveball the first time up and I told myself if she threw it again I would be ready,” Thomas added.
The Penguins took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Kim Klonowski and added two more in the second on Thomas’ first homer that went deep over the right field fence. Samantha Snodgrass singled home a run in the third and Thomas’ second homer accounted for a run in the fourth.
The Penguins put the game away in the fifth inning as the first four batters reached safely and pinch hitter Sarah Gabel’s double drove home the final two runs.
In the opener the Penguins had 10 hits, the big one a two-run homer by Rumph in the fifth inning that gave the Penguins a 5-1 lead. Klonowski had two hits for YSU.
Rumph really got the pitch she wanted on the home run.
“She just threw me up a real fat one,” said Rumph. “I just felt so good when I hit it. Things are really coming together for this team now and we’re playing just like we did when we were winning in Florida.”