Junior Casey Crozier threw a four-hitter with nine strikeouts and the No. 6 Youngstown State softball team collected 10 hits in a 9-1 five-inning win over No. 3 Valparaiso to advance in the 2013 Horizon League Softball Champion on Wednesday.
The Penguins improve to 17-25 overall and will face No. 2 seed Loyola, Thursday, at 2:30 p.m. (EDT). Valparaiso falls to 29-25 and faces an opponent determined on Thursday.
The Penguins capitalized on two Crusader errors and scored seven unearned runs in the top of the second inning to give Crozier a big cushion.
Knight’s one-out, bases-loaded single down the left-field line scored freshman Kelly Stowe with the game’s first run. Stowe reached on an error and moved to second on junior Sarah Ingalls‘ single up the middle. Senior Caroline Krombach walked to load the bases for Knight.
Junior Samantha Snodgrass reached on the Crusaders second error of the inning that scored Ingalls to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead.
Ewing drove in a pair with a single to center and Miranda Castiglione‘s double plated Ewing to give the Penguins a 5-0 advantage.
After a pitching change, senior Sarah Gabel‘s two-run double to left-center field pushed the Youngstown State lead to 7-0.
Valparaiso’s Joylynn Ichiyama hit a solo home run in the bottom of the third to get the Crusaders on the board, but that was the last hit Crozier would surrender. Crozier only allowed one more base runner the rest of the game.
In the top of the fifth, run-scoring singles by Krombach and Knight, who went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, sealed the 9-1 victory for the Penguins.
COURTESY: YSU SPORTS INFORMATION