Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Win 11th Straight; Complete Sweep of Detroit
Kelsey Phalen drove in three runs Sunday. (Ray Acevedo)
Kelsey Phalen drove in three runs Sunday. (Ray Acevedo)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Valparaiso concluded a perfect start to Horizon League play this weekend with a 7-1 victory Sunday afternoon over Detroit at the Valparaiso University Softball Field, completing a three-game sweep of the Titans and registering their 11th consecutive victory, an on-going program record.

Unlike Saturday, when the Crusaders scored in their first time at-bat both games, it took a few innings for them to crack the scoreboard on Sunday, as Valpo stranded a pair of runners on base in each of the opening two innings.  The Crusaders finally got on the board in the third, as junior Sara Strickland (Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon) poked a one-out double to the right-center gap. 

Two batters later, junior Jordan Rutkowski (Alden, N.Y./Alden) and senior Sadie Conner (Washington, Ill./Washington) drew back-to-back walks to load the bases with two away.  Junior Kelsey Phalen (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) stepped up, fought back from an 0-2 count to get a full count and then hit a hard grounder back up the middle to score Strickland and Rutkowski for a 2-0 Valpo lead.

The Crusaders then broke the game open in the fourth inning.  Freshman Amanda Wisniewski (Lake in the Hills, Ill./Huntley) led off the inning with a double, and two batters later, fellow rookie Angie Doerffler (Fort Wayne, Ind./Concordia Lutheran) singled and advanced to second on the throw in to third base.  With two runners in scoring position, Strickland swung at the first pitch and lined a single into right, scoring both runners.  A misplay by the Titans' right fielder allowed the ball to get all the way to the fence, and the speedy Strickland scampered all the way home on the play, increasing the lead to 5-0.

First-pitch swings got the job done for the next two Crusader hitters as well.  Senior KC Boldt (Red Wing, Minn./Red Wing) lined a single into left and advanced to second on an error by Detroit's left fielder, while Rutkowski followed with a fly ball into left that fell in for an RBI double, scoring Boldt.  Following a pitching change, Phalen stepped in and delivered her third RBI of the day with a double to left to plate Rutkowski and make it 7-0 Valpo.

While the Crusaders were unable to add to their lead in their final two times at the plate, seven runs was more than plenty on Sunday.  Junior Alex Lagesse (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) couldn't match her perfect game performance of Saturday, but was nearly as good, allowing just one hit in her four shutout innings of work to improve to 6-5 on the year.  Junior Shaleigh Jansen (Ottawa, Ill./Ottawa Township) allowed a run in the fifth inning, but escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam with no further damage and went on to pitch the final three innings, picking up her third save of the year.

Detroit (4-11, 0-3 Horizon) starting pitcher Karyn McCarty took the loss on Sunday, surrendering all seven runs in 3.1 innings of work.  Doerffler, Phalen and Strickland all had multi-hit games as the Crusaders pounded out 10 hits in the series finale, including five doubles.  Rutkowski and Strickland both scored a pair of runs, while Phalen led the way with her three RBIs.

Valparaiso (18-10, 3-0 Horizon) steps out of league play mid-week as the Crusaders travel to take on Northern Illinois in a doubleheader Wednesday afternoon.  First pitch is slated for 3 p.m., with live stats and live chat 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