Valparaiso tallied just two hits on Sunday afternoon in Chicago, Ill. as the Crusaders fell in their series finale against Loyola, 8-0.
The Crusaders got a one-out walk from freshman Angie Doerffler (Fort Wayne, Ind./Concordia Lutheran) in their half of the first, but could not get anything out of it. Loyola put its first two runners on in its first plate appearance, and then a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt allowed Brooke Andresen to score the game's opening run. With runners on first and third, the Ramblers then attempted the double steal, with junior Jordan Rutkowski (Alden, N.Y./Alden) throwing out the runner stealing second, but Bridget Lally scored on the play to give Loyola a 2-0 lead.
Rutkowski led off the second inning with a walk, but could not advance into scoring position. The Ramblers extended their lead in the bottom of the second with the bases loaded and one out, getting first an RBI groundout from Jacqueline Grim and then a two-RBI single from Lauren Arceneaux to go ahead 5-0. Doerffler worked a two-out walk in the Valpo third, while senior KC Boldt (Red Wing, Minn./Red Wing) led off the fourth with a single and eventually stole second, but the Crusaders could not crack the scoreboard in either instance.
Valpo's best chance to score came in the fifth, as senior Jill Jacobson (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) led off with a single into center field and freshman Amanda Wisniewski (Lake in the Hills, Ill./Huntley) followed with a walk to put two on with nobody out. Following a pitching change, a sacrifice moved both runners up 60 feet, but Jacobson was thrown out trying to score on an infield grounder and another groundout ended the Crusader threat. Loyola ended the game in its half of the fifth after loading the bases with two out on a three-run triple by Keali Engelkens.
“We have to come out and be the aggressor and not let the other team take early leads,” said Crusader head coach Jordan Stevens. “We gave Loyola opportunities early in the game, and they jumped on the chances and took advantage. Being down five after two innings to a pitcher like Gardner is not going to be an easy task.”
Junior Alex Lagesse (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) took the loss for Valpo, falling to 8-8 after giving up five runs in 1.2 innings in the start, while junior Sam McGee (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson) tossed the final three innings. Brittany Gardner improved to 10-8 for Loyola (15-15, 6-3 Horizon), throwing four innings of two-hit ball.
Valparaiso (22-15-1, 5-4 Horizon) steps right back into league play with a doubleheader at Butler on Tuesday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. CDT, and live stats will be available at www.valpoathletics.com.