A stretch of 27 consecutive games away from home came to an end for the Valparaiso University softball team on Wednesday afternoon in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., as the Crusaders dropped an 8-3 decision in mid-week non-conference action to Central Michigan.
How It Happened
- CMU opened the scoring in its first turn at bat, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the first on three hits.
- Valpo looked to answer in the top of the second, as freshman Addi Burke (Mesquite, Texas/John Horn) and senior Jenna Stauffenberg (Kankakee, Ill./Bishop McNamara) led off the inning with consecutive singles. But the duo would only advance as far as second and third base.
- The Crusaders would take the lead in the top of the third. Fifth-year senior Taylor Lawson (Tucson, Ariz./Sahuaro) slapped a one-out single over the third baseman’s head to get the train rolling.
- An error and a walk loaded the bases with one out, and two batters later, Stauffenberg watched six pitches go by for a full-count walk to drive in the Crusaders’ first run. Freshman Brittany Anderson (East Chicago, Ind./Bishop Noll) then battled back from an 0-2 count, eventually taking a 2-2 pitch back up the middle for a two-run single, making it 3-2 Valpo.
- Valpo was one strike away from maintaining the one-run lead into the fourth, getting back-to-back outs after CMU put runners on second and third with nobody out. But the Chippewas’ Maison Kalina came up with a two-out, two-strike single into center to score both runs, giving CMU the 4-3 lead.
- CMU added a single run in the fourth inning to make it a 5-3 game. The Crusaders brought the potential tying run to the plate in both the fifth and sixth innings, following respective two-out doubles from Burke and sophomore Taylor Bowman (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way North), but could not convert either time.
- The Chippewas added their final three runs – two of which were unearned – in the sixth inning.
Inside the Game
- Wednesday’s game was turned into just a single contest following the postponement of Tuesday’s scheduled doubleheader.
- Wednesday’s game concluded a stretch of 27 consecutive games away from home to open the season for the Crusaders, who open the home slate this weekend. Valpo played in all four time zones over the last 47 days, taking the field nine times on Eastern Time, seven times on Central Time, six times on Mountain Time and five times on Pacific Time.
- Of the Crusaders’ final 24 scheduled games, 17 are scheduled to be played at home versus just seven on the road.
- Burke led the Valpo offense, picking up two of the Crusaders’ six hits – including her first career extra-base hit. Stauffenberg reached base twice as well out of the five spot in the order.
- Anderson’s two RBIs in the third inning were her first career runs driven in.
- Junior Kelsie Packard (Beloit, Wis./Turner [Rock Valley College]) took the loss in the circle for the Crusaders, surrendering three runs in 1.1 innings of work out of the bullpen to fall to 1-2 on the year.
Valpo (14-13) opens up the home campaign with a Friday afternoon doubleheader as the Crusaders welcome Southern Illinois to the Valpo Softball Complex for Missouri Valley Conference action. First pitch of game one is scheduled for noon.