Senior Jaymee Lawton (Goodyear, Ariz./Desert Edge [Utah Valley]) connected on home runs in consecutive at-bats in the second game of Valpo’s MVC opening day Saturday in Peoria, Ill., but Valpo would drop both ends of the doubleheader to Bradley, 9-1 and 8-3. The third game of the series has been moved back to 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
How It Happened – Game One
- Bradley took the lead in its first turn at bat, scoring a single run on a two-out infield single.
- It remained a 1-0 game until the top of the fourth, when Valpo returned the favor with a run-scoring infield single from sophomore Addi Burke (Mesquite, Texas/John Horn). Lawton scored on the play after recording a full-count double earlier in the inning.
- Valpo had a golden chance to take the lead in the top of the fifth, as its first two batters of the inning reached on a double and a Bradley error. But the next three hitters went down in order as it remained a 1-1 tie through four and a half innings.
- The Braves would put up five runs, all with two outs, in the bottom of the fifth to go ahead 6-1, highlighted by a Katie Habryle grand slam.
- Valpo got two on base in the sixth inning, but was unable to score, and Bradley closed out the game with a three-run sixth inning.
How It Happened – Game Two
- Bradley took the lead in the second inning of the nightcap, scoring three runs with two out in the inning. The Braves added two more runs in the third on consecutive solo homers.
- Valpo got on the board in the top of the fourth, as Lawton drove a 1-0 pitch over the left-center wall to cut the Braves’ lead to four runs. The next two hitters reached for Valpo as well, but would eventually be stranded on second and third.
- A two-run double for Bradley in the fifth pushed its advantage to 7-1.
- Lawton homered for a second straight at-bat with one out in the sixth, connecting on a 2-2 pitch and sending it to nearly the exact same spot over the wall in left-center.
- Bradley countered with a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth, and Valpo would close the scoring in the seventh as junior Morgan Matalin (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) scored courtesy of a Bradley error after lining a double off the Braves’ third baseman’s glove earlier in the inning.
Inside the Games
- Lawton’s two-homer game in the nightcap tied her once again for Valpo’s single-game home run record.
- It was the third career multi-homer game for Lawton, tying her for the second-most multi-homer games in program history.
- Lawton has had one multi-homer game in each of her three seasons in a Valpo uniform, and ironically, all three have come in the first conference series of each season.
- Lawton now has 20 career home runs with the Crusaders, eighth-most in program history and just two shy of a tie for sixth. She also extended her on-base streak to 11straight games on Saturday, going 2-for-2 with a walk in the opener before her two homers in the nightcap.
- Burke reached in all three of her times at the plate in the opener, going 2-for-2 with a walk, while junior Hannah Dybalski (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon) came off the bench in the second game and drew a pair of walks.
- Senior Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) extended her on-base streak to 13 straight games with a hit in the opener before failing to reach in the nightcap.
- Junior Kelsie Packard (Beloit, Wis./Turner [Rock Valley College]) started the opener and took the loss, falling to 6-4 as she went 4.2 innings, striking out six. Junior Jenna Edwards (Winchester, Ky./George Rogers Clark [Chattanooga State C.C.]) fell to 2-5 on the season as she started the nightcap and went 2.1 innings.
- Valpo struggled in all aspects of the game in its first two MVC games of the season. Offensively, the team went just 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position. The pitching surrendered 10 walks and threw seven wild pitches, and defensively, the Crusaders committed four errors over the two contests.
Valpo (8-10, 0-2 MVC) closes out the series with Bradley with a single game Sunday at 1 p.m. The game can be seen live on ESPN+.