Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Drops Series Finale at UIC
Jordan Rutkowski drove in all three Crusader runs Sunday. (Ray Acevedo)
Jordan Rutkowski drove in all three Crusader runs Sunday. (Ray Acevedo)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Valparaiso played from behind the whole game on Sunday afternoon in Chicago, Ill., and despite a seventh-inning rally, could not complete the comeback as the Crusaders fell 4-3 to UIC in Horizon League action.

The Flames jumped out on top right away in the first inning Sunday.  Melinda Macias led off the frame with a double and two batters later, Brooke Frydendall tallied an infield single.  Crusader pitcher Alex Lagesse (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) then gave up a three-run homer down the left-field line to her counterpart in the circle, Ashley Hewett, that put the Flames on top 3-0.

Valpo cut a run off of its deficit in the third inning.  With one out, Sara Strickland (Phoenix, Ariz./Horizon) walked, and then promptly stole second, advancing to third when an overthrow into center field was misplayed by the Flames’ outfielder.  Jordan Rutkowski (Alden, N.Y./Alden) brought her classmate home with a sacrifice fly to deep left field to move to within 3-1.

UIC added a key insurance tally in the bottom of the sixth inning, as a leadoff walk came around to score on a two-out single by Frydendall to push the Flame lead to 4-1.  But the Crusaders, who had just three hits in the first six innings, got back-to-back singles from Jessie Marinec (Alsip, Ill./Marist) and Lisa DeBruzzi (Carlisle, Mass./Concord-Carlisle) to lead off the seventh, and when Tori Brown (Harrison, Ohio/Harrison) walked, Valpo was bringing the potential go-ahead run to the dish with nobody out.

Devin Miller, who earned the win against the Crusaders in the series opener Saturday, entered the game at pitcher and promptly set down the first two Valpo batters she faced, KC Boldt (Red Wing, Minn./Red Wing) and Strickland, on strikes.  Rutkowski came up with a hard-hit single into center field to score the two lead runners and cut the deficit to just one run, but the comeback effort fell just short as Joylyn Ichiyama’s (Torrance, Calif./Redondo Union) grounder to the left side was just taken to third base for the force play to end the game.

No Crusader would come up with multiple hits on the day, but Rutkowski went 1-for-1 with three RBIs, a walk, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly.  Lagesse took the loss in the circle, falling to 11-6 after going just one-plus inning.  Sam McGee (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson) came in and tossed 4.2 innings of one-run ball.  For UIC (11-29, 4-6 Horizon), Hewett improved to 6-14 while Miller earned her first save of the year.

“You’ve got to credit Hewett for turning things around today and putting together a good pitching performance,” said Crusader head coach Randy Schneider.  “I thought she was throwing the ball better than she did yesterday.  For us, I think starting out down three runs and not hitting the ball early hurt us, forcing us to try to play catch-up and change our strategy.  I give our kids a lot of credit for the comeback in the seventh inning, but I’m disappointed we didn’t complete the series.  We gave up two multiple-run innings in the series and it cost us two losses.  I think if we had spread out the runs a little bit better it would have been a different story.”

Valparaiso (27-12, 7-3 Horizon) steps out of league play for the final time in the regular season on Wednesday afternoon as the Crusaders make the short jaunt east to South Bend to face Notre Dame in a single game.  First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. CDT.

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
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 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
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
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W 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