Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Drop Series Finale to UIC
Sara Strickland tied Valpo's career total bases record, going 3-for-3 with two homers Sunday. (Dave Schofield)
Sara Strickland tied Valpo's career total bases record, going 3-for-3 with two homers Sunday. (Dave Schofield)

Sunday, April 03, 2011

A nine-run second inning by UIC was the difference Sunday afternoon at the Valparaiso University Softball Field, as Valparaiso could not overcome the large deficit, eventually falling to the Flames in six innings, 17-6.

UIC started the scoring in its first time at-bat, as Melinda Macias led off with a double and eventually scored on an infield single by Ashley Hewett.  Valpo responded in the bottom of the first, however, as junior Sara Strickland (Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon) launched a two-out solo homer over the right-center field fence to tie the game at one apiece.

But the Flames came back in the second with the nine-spot to take command of the game.  The first 12 batters of the inning for UIC reached, including five on doubles and two on home runs, as the Flames sent 14 hitters in all to the plate in the second inning.  Three Crusader pitchers saw action in the frame, with redshirt sophomore Amanda Bolton (Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon [Arizona]) eventually retiring the last two batters of the inning.

“The mentality when you get down big is to just keep working back and scoring runs to try to cut into the lead, and not try to get it all back in one inning,” said Crusader head coach Jordan Stevens.  “We did that and were able to chip away and score some runs.  But one big inning is typically enough to lose a ballgame, and in that situation, we needed to find a way to get outs and not let things snowball on us.”

Valpo had a chance to cut into the 10-1 deficit in its half of the second, registering a pair of hits, but could not push a run across the plate.  The Crusaders did slice two runs off the lead in its half of the third, as freshman Angie Doerffler (Fort Wayne, Ind./Concordia Lutheran) reached on a one-out error and Strickland followed with a two-run bomb to straightaway center field.  For the junior, it marks her second multi-homer game of the season.

UIC (12-14, 3-2 Horizon) scored three runs in its half of the fifth to extend its lead to 13-3 and set up a possible run-rule victory, but the Crusaders extended the game despite being down to their final strike.  Doerffler reached on a fielder's choice, while Strickland drove a two-out single through the right side to put two on for senior KC Boldt (Red Wing, Minn./Red Wing).  Boldt drove a 1-2 pitch to left, easily far enough for her fifth round-tripper of the season to cut the deficit to 13-6.  The Flames added four more runs in the sixth inning to close the scoring.

Strickland's single in the fifth moved her into a tie in another category in the Crusader all-time record books.  The junior, who already holds Valpo's career runs scored record, tallied nine total bases on Sunday and now has 251 career total bases, matching the totals of Shannon Robinson and Taylor Callahan.  Strickland went a perfect 3-for-3 in the series finale, scoring three runs and also driving in three runs.  Senior Sadie Conner (Washington, Ill./Washington) also recorded a multi-hit game Sunday, going 2-for-3.

Crusader starter Sam McGee (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson) took the loss on Sunday, falling to 11-4 after giving up four runs in her 1.1 innings of work, while all four Valpo pitchers gave up at least three runs against the Flames.  Devin Miller improved to 6-10 with the complete-game victory for UIC despite giving up six runs in six innings of work.

“After a game like today, you have to learn from it, but you also have to forget it quickly,” said Stevens.  “We have to get back to work and continue to improve on the things we have to improve on, and not let this result carry over into practice this week.”

Valparaiso (21-12, 4-2 Horizon) will look to bounce back as it steps out of league play Thursday for a home doubleheader against Purdue.  First pitch of game one is slated for 3 p.m., and all the action can be heard live on WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso and online at www.valpoathletics.com, which will also have a link for live stats.

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
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
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
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
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 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
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M 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 Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25 Horizon League Tournament
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
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
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