Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Extend Winning Streak to Five Games
Sadie Conner picked up five hits over Wednesday's two games. (Ray Acevedo)
Sadie Conner picked up five hits over Wednesday's two games. (Ray Acevedo)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

One day after its pitching dominated a pair of games, the Valparaiso offense took center stage Wednesday, totaling 26 hits as the Crusaders earned victories over Saint Francis (Pa.), 6-1, and Holy Cross, 7-5, at the Rebel Spring Games in Orlando, Fla.  The pair of wins extends the Crusader winning streak to five games.

Sophomore Jordan Rutkowski (Alden, N.Y./Alden), the reigning Horizon League Batter of the Week, continued her torrid stretch at the plate, registering six hits on Wednesday, including a 4-for-4 effort against Saint Francis that included her first home run of the season.  Rutkowski now has hit safely in each of her nine games this year and is hitting .548 on the year.  Junior Sadie Conner (Washington, Ill./Washington) added five hits on the day, one of which was a home run against Holy Cross, her second round-tripper of the year.

“We started swinging the bat really well today,” said Crusader head coach Randy Schneider.  “I’m happy with where our hitting is at right now, and obviously Jordan is hitting the ball very well.  She’s been highly productive this whole trip.”

Rutkowski’s longball against the Red Flash came in the third inning, putting the Crusaders on the scoreboard.  Kelsey Phalen (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) would score the eventual game-winning run later in the frame on an RBI single from Joylyn Ichiyama (Torrance, Calif./Redondo Union).  Valpo scored three in the fourth inning, getting RBI singles by Sara Strickland (Phoenix, Ariz./Horizon) and Rutkowski, the former also coming home on an attempted double steal later in the inning.  Strickland closed out the scoring in the sixth following an error after a successful double steal.

Alex Lagesse (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) earned the complete-game victory in the circle, giving up just five hits and one unearned run while striking out five hitters as she improved to 2-1 on the year.  Megan Layne took the loss for Saint Francis (3-8), giving up three runs in three-plus innings of work.

Valpo, batting as the home team in the nightcap, found itself down 1-0 after the top of the first, but immediately responded with four in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead for good over Holy Cross.  Rutkowski got things going with an RBI single and would later score on a double by Phalen.  Phalen and Jessie Marinec (Alsip, Ill./Marist) then both came home thanks to a 2-RBI single by Conner.

Holy Cross added another run in the second, but the bottom of the third saw the Crusaders push across two more tallies, as Ichiyama connected on a solo home run and Marinec scored on a passed ball.  Conner closed out the scoring for Valpo in the fifth with her four-bagger.

Sam McGee (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson) moved to 4-0 in 2010 as she pitched six innings in the winning effort, giving up four runs, three earned, but striking out six batters.  Shaleigh Jansen (Ottawa, Ill./Ottawa Township) pitched the seventh inning for her third save of the year.  Jenna Legros took the loss for Holy Cross (1-5), falling to 0-1 after allowing six runs in two-plus innings.

“I thought Alex pitched a really good game in the opener,” said Schneider.  “I didn’t feel we pitched quite as well the second game, but we did what we needed to do to get things done.  I felt we played really well defensively today, which really helped us.  It’s been great to go 4-0 down here in Florida.  Our players have really stayed excited and we’ve had a great time, and now it’s time to move on and try to get some more wins at Auburn.”

Valparaiso (9-3) takes a day off tomorrow as it travels to Auburn, Ala., where it will play in the War Eagle Classic this weekend.  Tournament play begins for the Crusaders Friday at 5:30 p.m. CST against Gardner-Webb, with live stats available at www.valpoathletics.com.

W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 6 4th/12 (311)
W Tennis Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 6 Milwaukee 7
Softball Detroit 0 VU Softball Field
Apr 6 Valpo 8
Baseball Wright State 4 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 6 Valpo 2
W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 7 9th/12 (642)
Softball Northern Illinois 6 VU Softball Field
Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
M Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 5:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
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
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26 Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
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