Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Drop Series Finale to Wright State
Tori Brown picked up a two-run triple Wednesday. (Ray Acevedo)
Tori Brown picked up a two-run triple Wednesday. (Ray Acevedo)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Valparaiso jumped out to an early lead with a four-run second inning, but Wright State countered with nine runs in the third frame and the Crusaders could not come back, falling 10-5 in the series finale Wednesday afternoon in Fairborn, Ohio.

For the third straight game, the Raiders claimed a lead in the bottom of the first inning.  Just like it did in the second game yesterday, Wright State loaded the bases with nobody out in the opening frame, but again Sam McGee (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson) pitched out of the jam giving up just one run.  A foul-out to left field scored Kristen Bradshaw, but McGee induced back-to-back groundouts to escape down just 1-0.

But the Crusaders gained the lead for the first time in the series with an offensive outburst in the second inning.  Jessie Marinec (Alsip, Ill./Marist) led off with a double down the left-field line and Lisa DeBruzzi (Carlisle, Mass./Concord-Carlisle) followed by working a full-count walk.  Jennifer Hermanson (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance both runners, and two batters later, Tori Brown (Harrison, Ohio/Harrison) connected on a triple over the right fielder’s head to give Valpo a 2-1 lead.

Sara Strickland (Phoenix, Ariz./Horizon) followed with a hard-hit double down the left-field line to score Brown, and after a walk by Jordan Rutkowski (Alden, N.Y./Alden), the Raiders went to their bullpen to bring in Melanie Heyne to replace Allison Cox.  Sadie Conner (Washington, Ill./Washington) greeted Heyne rudely, though, swinging at the first pitch and hitting a grounder through the left side of the infield to plate Strickland to increase the Crusader lead to 4-1.

The Raiders responded in a big way in the third inning, however, sending 13 batters to the plate en route to scoring nine runs.  A two-RBI double by Mollie Berry tied the game at four apiece, and Jamie Perkins followed with an RBI two-bagger of her own to give Wright State the lead for good.  In all, seven different Raider hitters drove in runs during the inning as they took a 10-4 advantage.

Valpo put together a belated attempt at cutting into the lead in the seventh inning, as Rutkowski led off the inning with a double to left.  Whitney Warner (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove) pinch-hit later in the inning with two on and two outs and delivered an RBI single to score Rutkowski to cut the deficit to 10-5, but the Crusaders could get no closer.

Alex Lagesse (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) took the loss in relief for Valpo, allowing eight runs (six earned) in 0.2 innings of work to fall to 12-9.  Heyne improved to 10-12 for Wright State (23-24-1, 14-7 Horizon), giving up just one unearned tally in 5.1 innings in relief.  Marinec connected on a pair of doubles for her two hits, while Strickland also had a two-hit day for the Crusaders.

“I wouldn’t change anything with the way we pitched this series, but I’m pretty disappointed about the fact we couldn’t pick up a ball and throw it to first,” said Crusader head coach Randy Schneider.  “Giving up 38 runners, mostly on balls in the infield, you’re going to obviously struggle to win games.  I thought we hit the ball pretty well all series as well, picking up 24 hits and also hitting a number of hard line drives that turned into outs.  But just like I’ve said all year, there’s three components to the game, and if one isn’t working, you have to hope the other two are on fire.  To me, we were good pitching and good hitting, but extremely poor defensively.  We just have to keep working on getting better and preparing for a big series this weekend against Youngstown State.”

Valparaiso (29-16, 9-6 Horizon) returns home for its final series of the year at the Valparaiso University Softball Field this weekend as the Crusaders host Youngstown State.  Saturday’s doubleheader and Sunday’s single game are both scheduled for a noon start time, and on Saturday, Crusader seniors Warner and Carrie Franson (Arlington, Wis./Poynette) will be honored as part of Senior Day ceremonies.  All three of this weekend’s games will be broadcast on WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso and online at www.valpoathletics.com, which will also have links for live stats.

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
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
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
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
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 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
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
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
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 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 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
W 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
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
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
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