Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Take Opener From Green Bay at Horizon League Championship, 4-0
Tori Brown hit her third homer of the season Thursday mroning. (Ray Acevedo)
Tori Brown hit her third homer of the season Thursday mroning. (Ray Acevedo)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Early home runs from Sadie Conner (Washington, Ill./Washington) and Tori Brown (Harrison, Ohio/Harrison) propelled fourth-seeded Valparaiso to a 4-0 victory over fifth-seeded Green Bay in first round action at the Horizon League Championship in Cleveland, Ohio Thursday morning.  With the win, the Crusaders advance to play top-seeded ClevelandState at 1:30 p.m. CDT this afternoon.

Valpo, in its third season as a Horizon League member, won its opening game at the league championship event for the first time.  The Crusaders also defeated Green Bay at the league tournament for the first time in three meetings.  The shutout was the third in as many games for Valpo against the Phoenix this season.

The Crusaders got the game started out on the right foot in the bottom of the first.  Sara Strickland (Phoenix, Ariz./Horizon) led off with a line-drive single into center field, and three batters later Conner took a 2-2 pitch and drove it over the left-field fence for a two-run homer, putting the Crusaders on top 2-0.  For the junior third baseman, it was her team-best eighth round-tripper of the year, tied for third-most in a single season in Valpo history, and her 13th career four-bagger, also third-most all-time at Valpo.

One inning later, it was the freshman Brown who provided the long ball, as the Crusader right fielder sent the first pitch she saw over the left-field fence for a solo shot, pushing the Valpo advantage to 3-0.  Valpo would add another insurance run in the sixth inning when pinch-runner Hayley Bridwell (Lemont, Ill./Lemont Township) stole second with two outs and then scored on a line-drive double by Lisa DeBruzzi (Carlisle, Mass./Concord-Carlisle).

But one run would have been all Crusader hurler Alex Lagesse (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) needed on this game.  The sophomore tossed a complete-game shutout, escaping a second-and-third, none-out jam in the fourth and a two-on, one-out conundrum in the fifth.  Lagesse scattered five hits while striking out seven Phoenix hitters, improving to 14-10 on the season.  Katie Cooney started and took the loss for Green Bay (26-19), falling to 11-10.

“I’m just proud of our kids, they just came out and swung the bat hard today,” said Crusader head coach Randy Schneider.  “We played great defensively as well, and I thought Alex pitched a great game.  I’m certainly happy to be in this situation, and hopefully we’ll just continue to play well throughout the tournament.”

Valparaiso (33-19) returns to Viking Field in just a couple hours, as the Crusaders face the host Vikings at 1:30 p.m. CDT.  Live stats and live chat will be available at www.valpoathletics.com.

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