UIC makes adjustments to beat YSU softball team


Penguins lose game of adjustments

as UIC takes series opener

By BOB ETTINGER

sports@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Youngstown State softball coach Brian Campbell was stuck on one word following the Penguins’ 6-2 loss to the University of Illinois-Chicago on Friday night at Covelli Sports Complex.

“We just couldn’t [get the key hit],” Campbell said. “It’s just the adjustments. That’s the thing. They were able to make quicker adjustments than we were. That’s the one thing we have to work on. They earned those few runs. There are things you take and learn from in this game, even when you play as much as they do.

“I keep saying it, but it’s true. It’s about the adjustments. [UIC] did a good job coming up with the extra hit there and they earned those runs. We want to work on making those adjustments ourselves and score those runs.”

The Flames (26-20, 16-3 in Horizon League) strung four consecutive hits together for a three-run fifth to go up, 5-0.

“They made the adjustments on [YSU pitcher] Addy [Jarvis],” Campbell said. “You can look at the stats and see where they’re at hitting the ball. We knew we’d have to make a change, they just got to us a little quicker. At the end of it, we did a good job. Addy did a good job and Elle [Buffenbarger] came in and did a good job. It’s all about adjustments. That’s just something they did.”

The Penguins (22-25, 10-7) were held hitless through 32/3 innings before Grace Cea broke through with a double. Maddi Lusk was walked and Tatum Christy singled to load the bases, but it ended there. YSU also stranded runners in the fifth and sixth without pushing a run across.

“Definitely, they played really good defense,” Campbell said. “We had some well-hit balls and they did a tremendous job getting to them, making the play and throwing us out. When you sit back and look at it, you want to see the kids hit the ball the way they did. If [the Flames] make a play, they make a play. Eventually, the ball will find a hole or you’ll get a lucky bounce and get on.”

Nikki Saibene and Dani Dadig had consecutive one-out singles in the seventh before Lexi Zappitelli’s triple off the fence in left-center plated the duo with two outs.

“I told them straight up, if we’d have been able to take those last few innings and made them the first, second and third, it would’ve been interesting,” Campbell said. “We made the adjustments late. We ran out of innings.”

UIC scored single runs in the first, third and seventh to go with the three-run fifth.

Saibene had a pair of hits, Zappitelli had the two-run triple and Cea added the double to pace the Penguins’ offense.

The teams are set to finish the series with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. today.

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