Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Drop Game to Wright State; Game Two Suspended
Sara Strickland tied the series opener with a two-out, two-run homer in the seventh. (Ray Acevedo)
Sara Strickland tied the series opener with a two-out, two-run homer in the seventh. (Ray Acevedo)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Freshman Sara Strickland (Phoenix, Ariz./Horizon) hit a two-run homer with two outs in the seventh to send Valparaiso’s series opener with Wright State to extra innings, but the Raiders put up four runs in the tenth and held on for a 9-7 win.  Game two was suspended due to darkness after four innings with Wright State ahead 5-0, and will be resumed Thursday at noon.

Wright State jumped out on top in the opener with an RBI double by Jamie Perkins in the top of the first, and added another in the third on a Crusader error.  Valpo responded with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the third on a two-out rally.  Karen Korb (Indianapolis, Ind./Lutheran) worked a walk and came home on an RBI double by Strickland.  The freshman proceeded to cross the plate on an RBI single by fellow freshman Jordan Rutkowski (Alden, N.Y./Alden) to tie the game at two.

The Raiders struck back immediately in the fourth, as Briauna Birl tallied an RBI double and Louie Haney followed with a three-bagger to plate Birl.  A solo home run by Justine Shilt in the top of the fifth pushed the WSU advantage to 5-2, where it would remain until the bottom of the seventh.

Sophomore Sadie Conner (Washington, Ill./Washington) got the rally started in the last of the seventh, singling through the left side.  Whitney Warner (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove) watched four straight balls to reach on a free pass, and a groundout moved Conner and pinch-runner Jamie Weinburger (Eagle River, Alaska/Eagle River) up to second and third with one away.  Alex Lagesse (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) pinch-hit and drove in Conner with a groundout, setting the stage for Strickland’s game-tying shot.

Both teams had scoring opportunities in the first two extra frames, with the best chance coming for Valpo in the bottom of the eighth, as the Crusaders loaded the bases with nobody out.  But the Raiders induced a double-play ball and a lineout to escape the frame with no damage.  Wright State pushed across its four-spot in the tenth inning, stringing together six hits and a walk to take the 9-5 advantage.

The Crusaders did not go down without a fight, as Conner cut the deficit to three with a one-out RBI double.  Two batters later, the sophomore came across on an RBI single up the middle by Jill Jacobson (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) to bring the tying run up to bat.  But there would be no more last-chance heroics for Valpo, as a groundout ended the game in Wright State’s favor.

Five players posted multi-hit games for the Crusaders, while Conner and Strickland each crossed the plate twice, the latter also driving in three runs.  Wright State’s Allison Cox led all players at the dish with a 4-for-5 performance, while Haney also tallied three hits for the Raiders.

Stephanie Kelly (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield) took the complete-game loss for the Crusaders, allowing sixteen hits and eight earned runs while striking out eight batters to fall to 5-4.  Sharon Palma earned the victory for Wright State (16-14, 4-3 Horizon) in relief, tossing the last seven innings to improve to 7-6.

Valparaiso (17-9, 3-1 Horizon) and Wright State are scheduled to resume the second game of the three-game series at the Valparaiso University Softball Field on Thursday at noon, with the final game of the set scheduled to begin 30 minutes after the completion of the first game.  Live stats will be available for both contests at www.valpoathletics.com.

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 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
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