Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Trend Continues as Crusaders Split a Pair in Florida
Sam McGee earned the complete-game victory in the opener Friday. (Amy Wittgenstein)
Sam McGee earned the complete-game victory in the opener Friday. (Amy Wittgenstein)

Friday, March 06, 2009

For the third straight day, the Valparaiso softball team split two games at the Rebel Spring Games in Orlando, Fla.  The Crusaders defeated Fairfield in the opener, 8-1, before dropping a 6-3 decision to Holy Cross in the nightcap.

“We got some nice performances today out of a lot of players,” said Crusader head coach Randy Schneider.  “I’m impressed by the way we’ve played so far, despite a few miscues, and our hitting and baserunning are definitely at high levels for this point of the season.  We are continuing to improve every day.”

Valpo struck first in the opener against the Stags, going for three runs in the top of the third.  With runners on second and third with one out, Karen Korb (Indianapolis, Ind./Lutheran) tallied an RBI single to plate Sadie Conner (Washington, Ill./Washington).  Korb stole second to put runners on second and third again, setting up an RBI opportunity for Jill Jacobson (Beecher, Ill./Beecher).  Jacobson grounded out to first, scoring pinch-runner KC Boldt (Red Wing, Minn./Red Wing), while Korb would continue home on a Fairfield error.

The Crusaders added a single run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Katie Williams (Chicago, Ill./Lane Tech [Kishwaukee C.C.]), but Fairfield responded with two doubles in its half of the inning to make it 4-1.  Valpo answered in the fifth with three more runs, as Jordan Rutkowski (Alden, N.Y./Alden) drove in Korb with an RBI single, while Jacobson and Rutkowski would both steal home on double steals later in the frame.  Rutkowski would tally another RBI single in the seventh to cap the scoring.

Sam McGee (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson) had a stellar outing to improve to 2-0 on the season, throwing a complete-game four hitter while striking out six batters.  Meghan Borst took the loss for Fairfield, throwing four innings and giving up five runs.  Wolter led the Crusader offense with three hits in the win, while Valpo tallied seven stolen bases, including two apiece by Jacobson and Rutkowski.

“We came out and set some new goals for our first game, and I really give our players a lot of credit, as they came out after some tough losses earlier this week and maintained their excitement and played a great first game,” said Schneider.  “Sam really pitched a stellar game.  She is proving early that she will be a great pitcher for this program for years to come.”

Valpo failed to open the scoring for the first time in its seven games in the nightcap, as Holy Cross tallied a single run in the top of the first.  The Brown and Gold responded in the bottom half of the inning when Rutkowski scored on an illegal pitch.  Holy Cross regained the lead with an RBI single in the top of the third, but again Valpo responded immediately, as Alex Lagesse (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) led off the frame with a triple and came home on a sacrifice fly by Jacobson.

That was the last time Valpo would hold a share of the lead, however, as Holy Cross strung together four hits in the top of the fourth to score three times and go ahead 5-2.  Joylyn Ichiyama (Torrance, Calif./Redondo Union) connected for her first career home run in the bottom of the inning to cut the deficit to two, but Valpo was unable to push another run across the plate in the final three innings.

Shaleigh Jansen (Ottawa, Ill./Ottawa Township) fell to 0-1 on the season, taking the loss in relief after allowing three runs in 3.1 innings of work.  Caitlin Belanger earned the complete-game win for Holy Cross.  Ichiyama and Rutkowski both registered two hits in the nightcap to lead the Valpo offense.

“We had a tough time adjusting to the strike zone against Holy Cross, which resulted in some walks in untimely situations,” said Schneider.  “It makes you pitch differently when dealing with a tighter zone, but you have to give Holy Cross credit, as they put the ball in play when they needed to and got the ball past our fielders.  Belanger really came out and pitched a great game for them, and they made some big defensive plays that were really the difference.”

Valparaiso (3-4) plays another set of two games on Saturday in Orlando.  The Crusaders face South Dakota at 8 a.m. CST before taking on Saint Francis (Pa.) at noon.

M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo 2 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24 #21/21 Notre Dame 7
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27 Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Green Bay
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Valpo