The Valparaiso University softball team’s initial foray into Missouri Valley Conference play did not go as planned on Saturday afternoon in Terre Haute, Ind., as the Crusaders dropped both ends of a doubleheader to Indiana State, 1-0 and 7-4.
How It Happened – Game One
- Junior Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) singled on the first pitch of the game and would advance to third with one out on a wild pitch and a stolen base, but would be stranded there. That turned out to be the Crusaders’ lone hit of the game.
- Consecutive two-out walks in the second inning put a Crusader into scoring position for the second straight frame. Those would be the last Valpo baserunners, however, as the last 16 Valpo batters were retired in order.
- Senior pitcher Kenzie Grossmann (Perry, Mo./Mark Twain [Morehead State]) was nearly as stellar in the circle, but one Crusader misplay in the fifth inning proved to be the difference. A two-out stolen base turned into the game’s lone run scoring, as the throw down to second would get all the way to the warning track.
How It Happened – Game Two
- Valpo threatened in its first turn at bat, placing two runners on base, but it would be Indiana State which opened the scoring on an obstruction call in the bottom of the first.
- The Sycamores added three more runs in the third to pull ahead 4-0.
- Valpo responded with a three-spot in its half of the fourth. Junior Jaymee Lawton (Goodyear, Ariz./Desert Edge [Utah Valley]) led off the frame with a drive to left field for her seventh homer of the year.
- Freshman Addi Burke (Mesquite, Texas/John Horn) followed by taking an 0-1 pitch the other way into left-center, and senior Lanie Callaghan (Elburn, Ill./Kaneland) stepped in and drove a 2-0 pitch to nearly the same spot as Lawton for a two-run homer to make it a 4-3 ballgame.
- Indiana State came back with three more runs in the bottom of the fourth to again push its advantage to four runs.
- Lawton launched her second homer of the game – a no-doubt shot deep to right-center – to cut the Sycamores’ lead to 7-4 with two outs in the seventh, but the Crusaders would get no closer.
Inside the Games
- Lawton’s multi-homer game in the nightcap was the first by a Crusader this season. The junior had a pair of home runs last season in a Valpo win at Northern Kentucky.
- With eight home runs this season, Lawton is already just one home run away from cracking Valpo’s single-season top-10 chart in the category.
- The 1-0 loss was the first-such loss for the Crusaders since dropping back-to-back 1-0 games last season on March 8 at #9 Alabama and March 10 versus Belmont.
- Grossmann took the tough-luck loss in the opener to fall to 8-3 on the year. She has now allowed one earned run or fewer in seven of her nine starts this season.
- Grossmann recorded eight strikeouts and got 10 ground-ball outs, allowing zero outs via the air. It was the third time this year the senior has started a game and not surrendered a single fly-ball out.
- Lawton went 3-for-4 in the nightcap, while Burke reached base three times as well with a pair of base hits and a walk.
- Sophomore Emily Richardson (Oak Park, Ill./River Forest) was tagged with the loss in the second game of the day to fall to 2-1 this year.
Valpo (12-10, 0-2 MVC) will look to close out its first series of Valley play with a win on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 11 a.m. CT, and the game can be seen live on The Valley on ESPN3.