Six errors in nightcap hurt Penguins; Ingalls homers, doubles for YSU
By TOm WILLIAMS
Trailing by two runs late and facing a doubleheader sweep, the Youngstown State softball team was hoping to get first baseman Sarah Ingalls one more key at-bat.
In her previous trips to the plate against Robert Morris, Ingalls hit a solo homer and a double, both to left field. In the sixth inning, the Penguins had two runners on with two outs with Ingalls watching while on deck.
Luck was not on the Penguins’ side as Sarah Dowd grounded out to end the inning, icing a frustrating evening for the Penguins in a 6-4 loss to the Colonials (17-16).
After falling 6-1 in the opener, the Penguins (15-13) committed six errors in the nightcap.
“She swung well today,” YSU head coach Brian Campbell said of Ingalls, a graduate of Ursuline High School. “It would have been interesting if she would have had the opportunity.”
Instead, Ingalls led off the seventh inning, when the Penguins were retired in order.
“We had opportunities with some baserunners on,” Campbell said. “You’ve got to take advantage of the opportunities.”
With No. 1 starter Casey Crozier on the mound, the Penguins led 3-1 in the third inning after Ingalls’ homer. But the lead evaporated in the fifth inning when the Penguins gave up four runs and committed their fifth miscue.
After shortstop Miranda Castiglione booted a ball hit by Ashley Gerhart. Chelsea Evans doubled her home. Samantha Santillo made the second out when she struck out on a wild pitch and ran inside the baseline on her way to first. Evans sped home to tie the game after catcher Maria Lacatena threw to Ingalls.
The nightmarish inning continued with Halleigh Stocks’ base hit and Kristen Kabelt‘s walk. Both scored on Chelsea Siar’s two-out double for a 5-3 lead.
Ingalls’ fifth-inning double scored Castiglione to slice the Colonials’ lead to 5-4. She was the second batter to face lefthander Geena Badolato, who replaced Stocks (4-0).
Badolato (3-10) scattered five hits in winning the opener. Ingalls said it helped that she already had faced her three times in the first gane. On Badolato’s first pitch to her in the second game, Ingalls turned on a curveball and raced to second base.
“You have to make your adjustments early,” Ingalls said. “It felt pretty good. I actually switched bats today. I used this bat back in the fall. First love so ...”
Campbell downplayed the significance of the Colonials’ move.
“We’ve seen a lot of lefties this year,” Campbell said. “There’s a little bit of adjusting because it’s coming off the opposite hip.
“But it’s not as hard [as in] baseball.”
After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first, the Penguins took the lead when Kayla Haslett hit a two-out, bases-loaded double to right field, scoring Castiglione and Dowd.
Haslett said she was hoping Stocks “would bring it in right where I wanted it, and she did. I don’t get to DH all the time so I was just trying to go with the flow.”
She didn’t finish as designated player as Campbell pulled Crozier (9-4) and sent Haslett to the mound after Siar’s double.
“That was quick, in the first game it wasn’t,” said Haslett, who relieved Caitlyn Minney (1-4) in the fifth inning of the opener.
Courtney Ewing drove in the only Penguins’ run in the 6-1 loss.