Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Sweep South Dakota, Saint Francis at Rebel Spring Games
Karen Korb tallied four hits and four stolen bases Saturday.
Karen Korb tallied four hits and four stolen bases Saturday.
Alex Lagesse earned her first collegiate win with a complete-game four-hitter Saturday against South Dakota.
Alex Lagesse earned her first collegiate win with a complete-game four-hitter Saturday against South Dakota.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Valparaiso won back-to-back games for the first time this season on Saturday, defeating South Dakota, 3-1, and Saint Francis (Pa.), 4-2, at the Rebel Spring Games in Orlando, Fla.

A pair of Crusader freshmen pitchers stood out in the circle Saturday, both earning complete-game victories.  Alex Lagesse (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) allowed just one run in a complete-game four hitter against the Coyotes of South Dakota, while Sam McGee (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson) improved to 3-0 this season with a six-hit effort in the nightcap against Saint Francis.

Valpo received all the runs it would need in the opener in the first inning.  Karen Korb (Indianapolis, Ind./Lutheran) led off the game with an infield single and proceeded to steal second and third base.  Sara Strickland (Phoenix, Ariz./Horizon) followed with a walk and stole second to put two runners in scoring position with nobody out.  Two batters later, Jordan Rutkowski (Alden, N.Y./Alden) drove in both Korb and Strickland with a single to put the Crusaders ahead 2-0.

South Dakota cut the deficit in half when Mel Johnson hit a solo home run in the top of the fourth, but the Crusaders responded immediately in the bottom half of the inning.  Rutkowski led off the frame with a single and stole second before moving over to third on a Joylyn Ichiyama (Torrance, Calif./Redondo Union) single.  Rutkowski proceeded to come home on the front end of a double steal attempt to close out the scoring.  Lagesse took over from there, retiring the last eight Coyote batters in a row to close the game.  Brittany Donahue took the complete-game loss for South Dakota.

“I was really happy with both the pitching we got from Alex, as well as our fielding, in the first game,” said Crusader head coach Randy Schneider.  “We struggled at the plate, but you have to give a lot of credit to (Donahue), because she did a good job moving the ball around.  We eventually got going, made some adjustments and put the bat on the ball, but just couldn’t find the holes.”

Saint Francis loaded the bases in the bottom of the first with none out in Valpo’s second game of the day, but the Crusaders escaped giving up just one run on a sacrifice fly.  The Crusaders would take the lead in the top of the third.  Kelsey Phalen (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) led off with a pinch-hit walk and moved up to third on a Korb single.  The duo then ran a successful double steal, plating Phalen to tie the game at one.  Korb moved over to third on a flyout and eventually scored on the front end of a double steal attempt to give Valpo a 2-1 lead.

Saint Francis got an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth by Jamie Dixon to tie the game at 2-2, but again Valpo responded immediately in its next time at-bat.  With one out in the sixth, Whitney Warner (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove) connected for a single, and Ichiyama followed with her second home run in as many days, a 2-run blast that put the Crusaders in front, 4-2.  The Red Flash put a runner in scoring position in each of the last two innings, but McGee shut the door both times to assure the Valpo victory.  Laura Caldwell was charged with the complete-game loss for Saint Francis.

“I was excited to see us handle a tight late-game situation after some of the losses we’ve suffered early on,” said Schneider.  “Joylyn stepped up in the sixth inning in a big situation and delivered a huge home run.  Our pitching and defense also came through in the last two innings.  When Saint Francis put runners on base in those late innings, we didn’t panic, and Sam really did a great job closing the door.”

Korb led the Crusaders at the plate on the day, going 4-for-7 with four stolen bases and two runs scored.  Ichiyama went 3-for-4 over the two games as well.

“We came in today and really wanted to concentrate on our defensive effort, getting good pitching performances and eliminating errors, and I think we did a much better job in those regards today,” said Schneider.  “I also was quite pleased with the play of our freshmen, it’s always a positive when you can get two solid complete-game pitching efforts from freshmen and clutch hitting from another first-year player early on in the season.  We’re happy we have a day off tomorrow, giving us a chance to regroup and hopefully finish strong over our last eight games down here.”

Valparaiso (5-4) will resume play at the Rebel Spring Games on Monday, taking on Bryant at 10 a.m. CST before facing Sacred Heart at 2 p.m.
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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 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
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
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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