The Valparaiso softball team split a pair of games on Monday, the first day the Crusaders have taken the diamond this season. Valpo defeated Albany 1-0 in their opener before falling 9-1 to Bethune-Cookman in Orlando, Fla.
In the opener, Amanda Gilbertson (Murrieta, Calif./West Albany H.S., Ore.) tossed a three-hit complete game shutout to pick up the victory.
Laurie Grabiak (Saint Louis, Mo./Parkway North H.S.) led off the first with a single for the Crusaders and stole second. After moving to third on a ground out, the freshman scored on a passed ball.
The one run proved to be enough as Gilbertson struck out five to shut down the Great Danes.
Andrea Lindgren took the loss for Albany.
In the nightcap, Valpo got just two hits as Bethune-Cookman's bats came alive over the last three innings for the victory.
The Wildcats scored four runs in both the fourth and fifth innings against Brittany Attebery (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central H.S.) and added a run in the sixth for the game-winner.
Valpo scored its lone runner in the top of the sixth as Grabiak tripled and scored on a Bethune-Cookman error. Grabiak had two hits in each game as the Crusaders tallied just five total on the day.
The Wildcats pounded out 11 hits against Attebery, who struck out three on the evening.
Katie Finn picked up the win for the Wildcats.
Valpo (1-1) will return to the diamond on Tuesday for a pair of games. At 9:40 a.m. CST the Crusaders will face Sacred Heart before battling Loyola (Ill.) at 1:20 p.m. CST.