Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Late Rally Gives Valpo Split Saturday at Tiger Softball Classic
Jill Jacobson came up with the game-winning two-run triple against TSU. (Ray Acevedo)
Jill Jacobson came up with the game-winning two-run triple against TSU. (Ray Acevedo)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Trailing by two runs and down to its final out against host Tennessee State Saturday afternoon at the Tiger Softball Classic in Nashville, Tenn., Valparaiso rallied for three runs to earn a 4-3 victory over the Tigers.  The Crusaders dropped their opener Saturday morning to Indiana State, 6-3.

Down 3-1 entering the seventh inning, the Crusaders got back-to-back singles by Kelsey Phalen (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) and Jordan Rutkowski (Alden, N.Y./Alden) to put the tying run on base with nobody out.  Two straight outs left freshman Jessie Marinec (Alsip, Ill./Marist) Valpo’s last hope to keep the game alive, and the rookie came through with a single that plated Phalen to pull back to within one run.

Rutkowski and Marinec then successfully pulled off a double steal to push the potential go-ahead run into scoring position, and Jill Jacobson (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) provided the critical blow, roping a triple down the left field line to score both runners and put the Crusaders in the lead.  Shaleigh Jansen (Ottawa, Ill./Ottawa Township) took care of putting the game away for the Crusaders, pitching around a one-out single to keep the Tigers off the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh, earning her second save of the year.

“I’m proud of the way we toughed it out in the second game, despite being a little beat up right now with injuries and illness,” said Crusader head coach Randy Schneider.  “It was a great win for us, coming from behind with some players out of position, and it was exactly what we needed to end the day.”

Tennessee State (1-6) scored single runs in the second and third innings to jump out to a 2-0 lead, but Valpo got a tally back in the fourth.  Sara Strickland (Phoenix, Ariz./Horizon) led off the frame with a single, stole second and came around to score on an RBI single by Rutkowski.  The Tigers added another run in the sixth to set up the Crusaders’ final inning heroics.

Redshirt freshman Amanda Bolton (Phoenix, Ariz./Horizon [Arizona]) earned her first collegiate victory on Saturday, registering the last two outs of the sixth in relief to move to 1-0 on the year.  The Tigers’ Caitlin Eaton took the complete game loss, falling to 0-1, while Sam McGee (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson) started the game in the circle for Valpo and pitched 5.1 innings, giving up just two earned runs.  Rutkowski paced the Crusader offense with a perfect 3-for-3 effort against TSU.

Indiana State (2-3) scored all the runs it would need in the first two innings of the tournament opener, putting up one in the first and three in the second.  Rutkowski scored a run in the first for the Crusaders after connecting for a two-out double, while Phalen and Strickland both crossed the plate in the third.

Valpo tallied nine hits against the Sycamores, led by two apiece by Hayley Bridwell (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) and Joylyn Ichiyama (Torrance, Calif./Redondo Union), but left ten runners on base for the game.  Jansen took the loss after starting in the circle, going 1+ innings and giving up three earned runs, falling to 1-1 on the year.  Meagan McCurdy improved to 2-1 on the year for ISU with the complete-game victory.

“Indiana State was our first time outdoors this spring, and I think it took us some time to adjust to the difference compared to being indoors,” said Schneider.  “We had some misplays that led to their runs, which ultimately cost us the game.  I was excited to see our offense reach as often as they did against a good pitcher in McCurdy, but we had our opportunities to win the game and didn’t capitalize.”

Valparaiso (4-2) concludes tournament play Sunday with two more games.  The Crusaders open the day at 8:30 a.m. CST against Indiana State, and turn right around to face Alabama A&M at 10:45 a.m.

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
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 Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
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 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
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
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
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Green Bay
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Valpo