Penguins open home schedule today
The Youngstown State softball team opens Horizon League play — as well as the home portion of its schedule — with a three-game series against Valparaiso beginning today at the YSU Softball Field. The Penguins and Crusaders will play a doubleheader starting at noon, and a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m.
YSU is 10-11 so far this season, all of its games coming on the road.
The Penguins are riding a three-game winning streak, having won the second game of a doubleheader at Akron on Tuesday before sweeping both games of a doubleheader at St. Bonaventure on Wednesday.
Through the first 21 games of the year, the Penguins have hit 18 home runs. Junior Sarah Dowd and sophomore Cali Mikovich lead the team with five homers each, while junior Maria Lacatena has five home runs and senior Miranda Castiglione has three.
Castiglione now ranks sixth on the all-time list with 20.
Junior pitcher Caitlyn Minney has eclipsed the top 10 for YSU career strikeouts.
She ranks eighth all-time with 181 and needs just two more to move into a tie for seventh place. She also needs just 19 more to become the sixth pitcher in school history to record at least 200 career strikeouts.
Men edged out by the Norse
The Youngstown State men’s tennis team dropped a 4-3 decision to Northern Kentucky in its Horizon League opener on Friday night at the Boardman Tennis Center.
The Penguins (4-11 overall and 0-1 in the Horizon League) split the six singles matches with the Norse (4-3 and 1-0). However wins at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles gave NKU the doubles. The Norse also won the first three completed singles matches before the Guins won the last three.
YSU won at No. 3 doubles as Bassem El Mekawi and Yossi Dahan won by a 6-3 score, but the Norse won 6-4 at No. 1 and 7-6 (4) at No. 2.
El Mekawi, Dahan and Agustin Reyes each won singles matches for the Guins at Nos. 4-6. Northern Kentucky won the three matches at Nos. 1-3 in straight sets.
Dahan won 6-4, 6-3 over Court Clark at No. 4 singles. At No. 5, El Mekawi defeated Blaine Carr 6-2, 6-1. Reyes picked up a 6-0, 3-6, 10-3 victory over Adrian Isache at No. 6.
YSU returns to action next Saturday when it visits Detroit.
Women perfect against NKU
The Youngstown State women’s tennis team opened defense of its Horizon League regular-season title with a 7-0 win over conference newcomer Northern Kentucky on Friday night at the Boardman Tennis Center.
YSU (3-10 overall and 1-0 in the Horizon League) won two of three doubles matches against the Norse (5-6) and swept all six singles contests en route to its 12th straight Horizon League regular-season dual match win.
In doubles play, NKU won at No. 1 while Nehel Sahni and Noelly Nsimba won 6-2 at No. 2 and Dominika Lackova and Julianna Heino won 6-1 at No. 3.
At No. 1 singles, Lackova won a 6-3, 6-4 decision over Klara Skopac. At No. 2, Annina Brendel won 6-2, 6-1 against Sydney Power.
At No. 3, Nsimba won 6-4, 6-2 over Danielle Donahue. Sofia Macias cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Hailey Shanahan at No. 4. Sahni won for the 10th time this spring beating Sierra Nellessen 6-1, 6-4. At No. 6, Ana Stroe won a 6-2, 6-0 match over Nicole Soutar.
The Penguins return to action on Saturday at 2 p.m. when they play host to Wright State. The match is set for the YSU Tennis Courts.