Northern Kentucky softball split the first two games of a series with Youngstown State, with each team claiming a 2-1 victory. The Penguins took the first matchup, while the Norse took the second game. NKU moves to 17-12 and 4-3 in Horizon League play while the Penguins move to 14-19 (5-6 HL).
Game 1: Youngstown State 2, NKU 1
At the Plate
· NKU out-hit the Penguins, 8-6.
· Ava Lawson and Josie Frazier both had multi-hit games, with Frazier going 2-for-4 while Lawson went 2-for-3 with the lone run of the game for the Norse.
· Alina Maher made her first start of the season as the designated player and drove Lawson in on a 1-for-2 outing.
In the Circle
· Taylor Ginther pitched her third-straight complete game, falling to 7-6 with the loss. She threw three strikeouts and walked just one batter in the setback.
· Youngstown State got things going with a one-out triple by Cali Mikovich, who was driven in off a double down the left field line to take a 1-0 lead. The Norse prevented the Penguins from scoring off a sac fly in the ensuing play as Kailey Rossiter launched the ball out of right field to assist on the double play to Madi Mulder at home plate to close the frame.
· NKU plated its first run of the contest in the fourth inning, starting with a single to left center from Lawson. She was advanced by another single to the left side of the field by Hailey Whitmer, and Maher drove Lawson in off a single to center field.
· The Penguins looked to be in prime scoring position after loading the bases off a trio of singles with one out, but the Norse got out of the jam to prevent YSU from putting any more on the board.
· A pair of two-out fielding errors allowed the Penguins to walk off with the victory, as Mikovich scored the game winner on an unearned run.
Game 2: NKU 2, Youngstown State 1
At the Plate
· The Norse had a 6-3 advantage in hits.
· Hailey Whitmer, Frazier and Ferrante each recorded two hits, with Whitmer going 2-for-2 while Frazier and Ferrante were 2-for-4.
· Ferrante clubbed a home run in the first inning, also driving in Frazier for both of NKU’s runs.
In the Circle
· Ashlynn Roberts moved to 7-3 after tossing a complete game for the Norse. She struck out six batters and walked three.
· Frazier started off the game with a leadoff single down the left field line. She was driven in by Ferrante’s homer to center field to give the Norse a quick 2-0 advantage.
· Youngstown State was held hitless until the fourth inning.
· The Penguins plated their only run of the contest with a solo home run from Mikovich in the sixth.
· NKU retired the Penguins in order in the final frame, with Roberts recording a strikeout on the final pitch.
· Ferrante recorded her fifth home run of the season and the 17th of her career. She is currently sixth on NKU’s all-time career home runs list.
· In Horizon League games, Ferrante is batting .500 and slugging .955 with three home runs and six RBI.
· Roberts is 3-0 in Horizon League play with a 1.59 ERA and 15 strikeouts.
· The all-time series with the Penguins remains tied at 4-4.
· The Norse and the Penguins will play in the series’ rubber match tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 with streaming available on computers, tablets, smart phones and streaming devices through WatchESPN and the ESPN App.
Assistant Athletic Communications Director
Northern Kentucky University