For the second straight day, junior Casey Crozier turned in an outstanding performance in the circle, throwing a five-hit shutout with six strikeouts as the Youngstown State softball team defeated Loyola, 2-0, and advanced to the winner’s bracket final of the 2013 Horizon League Championship.
The sixth-seeded Penguins, who improve to 18-25 overall, will face fifth-seeded Wright State, Friday at 2:30 p.m. EDT at Flames Field at UIC.
Crozier, who walked only two, retired nine out of 10 batters between the second and fourth innings and the only batter that reached was on her fielding error. She retired six straight in the second and third innings, committed the error and followed up with two strikeouts and a pop out.
Back-to-back two-out doubles by juniors Samantha Snodgrass and Courtney Ewing, who went 2-for-3, put the Penguins up 1-0 in the top of the third.
The Penguins added an insurance in the top of the sixth when freshman Kelly Stowe’s ground out to second scored freshman Miranda Castiglione for the 2-0 lead. Castiglione led off the frame with a single to right field and advanced to third on senior Sarah Gabel’s sacrifice bunt and a Loyola error.
After a leadoff walk to Jessica Balzano in the bottom of the sixth, senior Caroline Krombach gunned down Balzano at third trying to advance on Lauren Zaworski’s one-out bloop single down the right-field line. Crozier then struck out Brie Pasquale looking to end the frame.
In the bottom of the seventh, Crozier induced a ground out and a strikeout before an infield single brought the tying run to the plate. A fly ball to Gabel in left field ended the Rambler’s come-back attempt.
Crozier picked up her 15th victory of the season and is just the third pitcher in school history to record at least 15 wins in a year.
Courtesy: YSU Sports Information