April 18, 20121234567RHE
Valparaiso0010011372
Notre Dame240000X680
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: WINTER (15-8) 7.073306
Loss: McGEE (11-3) 1.266612
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
DOERFFLER (VALPO) 312000
DUNCAN (VALPO) 302100
THORNTON (ND) 313100
Valpo Sees Win Streak Snapped at Notre Dame
The Crusaders wait to congratulate Tori Brown after her home run on Wednesday. (Charles McBride)
Valpo Sees Win Streak Snapped at Notre Dame
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Valparaiso saw its 11-game winning streak come to an end on Wednesday afternoon, as the Crusaders couldn’t overcome an early six-run deficit to a 6-3 loss at Notre Dame.

“We can’t give good teams extra outs if we’re going to expect to come out on top – we have to be able to catch and throw the softball,” said Crusader head coach Jordan Stevens.  “Not doing the little things well cost us today.  Notre Dame is a very good team and you can’t hand a team like that runs.  I did think we swung the bats well today and had good at-bats, but we didn’t do the things we needed to do defensively well enough to win the game.”

The Irish loaded the bases in the first inning on a single, a hit batsman and a walk, the latter two runners reaching with two outs.  Katey Haus then lined an 0-1 pitch into right field to score the first two runs of the game, giving Notre Dame a 2-0 lead after the first inning.

Notre Dame then scored all the runs it would need for the win in the bottom of the second.  The Irish got a leadoff double from Chloe Saganowich, who eventually was on third with two outs.  An infield single from Kelsey Thornton scored Saganowich to make it 3-0, and a solid single into center by Emilee Koerner made it two on.  Amy Buntin stepped in and sent an 0-1 pitch high off the scoreboard beyond the left-center fence to push the Irish lead to 6-0.

The Crusaders, who had tallied a single apiece in each of the first two innings, got on the scoreboard in the top of the third.  Junior Tori Brown (Harrison, Ohio/Harrison) swung at the first pitch she saw in her second at-bat and lined it to left field, where it just cleared the wall for a solo homer to cut the deficit to 6-1.  For Brown, it was her second home run in as many games.

A leadoff single in the fourth went for naught for the Crusaders, but Valpo would add another run on its ledger in the sixth.  Sophomore Angie Doerffler (Fort Wayne, Ind./Concordia Lutheran) led off the inning with a solid first-pitch single back up the middle.  Two batters later, freshman Brittany Duncan (Fairborn, Ohio/Fairborn) lined an 0-2 pitch to the wall in left center field, deep enough to bring around Doerffler to make it 6-2.

Valpo was unable to cut into the Irish lead any more in the sixth despite having the runner on second with one out, as a fly-out and a pop-out ended the threat.  The Crusaders did move to within three runs with two out in the seventh, as sophomore Amanda Wisniewski (Lake in the Hills, Ill./Huntley) launched a solo home run to deep left field, but a pop-out would end the game in the Irish’s favor.

Senior Sam McGee (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson) took the loss for Valpo, falling to 11-3 after giving up six runs in the start.  Fellow senior Alex Lagesse (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) took over in the circle in the second inning and tossed 4.1 innings of shutout softball, surrendering just two hits and one walk.  Laura Winter earned the complete-game win for Notre Dame (22-13), improving to 15-8.  Duncan and Doerffler each had two-hit efforts to lead the Valpo offense.

“It was a good bounce-back performance for Alex today,” said Stevens.  “She needs to keep that command going into the weekend.”

Valparaiso (28-11) looks to get back on the winning track this weekend with a three-game Horizon League series at UIC.  The series starts with a doubleheader in Chicago on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m., with live stats and live chat for all three games available at www.valpoathletics.com.

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