Junior Casey Crozier struck out a season-high 10 and junior Haley Knight’s sacrifice fly in the top of the 11th inning lifted the Youngstown State softball team to a 3-2 victory over Valparaiso on Sunday afternoon. The win clinched the final spot in the 2013 Horizon League Tournament for the Penguins.
Crozier, who pitched 13.2 innings in a 6-5 loss on Saturday, came back on Sunday and scattered just eight hits and allowed just one earned run en route to her 13th victory of the season. Crozier has now defeated each team in the Horizon League for eight wins in league play.
The Penguins, who clinched the sixth seed in the Horizon League Tournament, improve to 16-25 overall and 9-12 in the Horizon League. Valparaiso falls to 29-24 overall and 11-9 in the league. The Crusaders will be the third seed in the tournament.
Freshman Kelly Stowe led off the top of the 11th with a single then stole second with one out. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Stowe scored the game-winning run on Knight’s sacrifice fly.
Crozier, who pitched out of bases-loaded jams in the bottom of the eighth and ninth innings, allowed a single to right before closing out the Crusaders.
Valparaiso scored twice in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 2-1 lead, but junior Courtney Ewing, who had three hits, ripped a two-out double to left field that plated pinch-runner Shayla DeCapita with the game-tying run in the top of the seventh.
Senior Caroline Krombach, who had three hits, recorded an RBI-single that scored senior Sarah Gabel in the top of the fourth gave the Penguins a 1-0 edge. Gabel led off the frame with a single and moved to second on a walk before scoring on Krombach’s hit.
The Penguins will take on the Crusaders in the first round of the 2013 Horizon League Softball Championship, Wednesday, May 8, at 2:30 p.m. EDT.
Courtesy: YSU Sports Information