Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Clinch First Tourney Berth Since 2000

Friday, May 07, 2004

Valparaiso University clinched its first Mid-Continent Conference Tournament berth since 2000 and earned its first victory over Western Illinois since 1997 with a 7-5 win in the opening game of a doubleheader on Friday afternoon in Macomb, Ill. The Westerwinds bounced back with a 2-1 victory in the nightcap.

The Crusaders, which had dropped 28 straight to the Westerwinds and were just 1-43 all-time prior to today guaranteed themselves a trip to the conference tournament for just the third time in school history. Valpo has also set a new school record with 13 Mid-Con victories on the season.

In the opener, Valpo overcame five defensive miscues led by Karen Constien's (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North H.S.) 3-for-3 performance at the plate including a pair of solo homeruns.

The Crusaders put a four spot on the scoreboard in the second inning. Lisa Setzler's (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) RBI single to left scored Constien with the game's first run. Stephanie Reinke (Parker, Colo./J.K. Mullen H.S.) doubled to left center with the bases loaded to score three and give the Crusaders a 4-0 lead.

The Brown and Gold added a fifth run in the third on Constien's first homer of the game to leftfield. Western Illinois answered with a pair in the bottom of the inning on Jessica Stanforth's ninth homer of the season while Amber Lessen singled in the fourth to plate a pair of unearned runs bringing the Westerwinds within a run, 5-4. Constien increased the lead back to two in the fifth with her ninth round-tripper of the year, setting a new single season school record. The senior now has 12 in her career, second most in Valpo history.

Three Valpo errors in the fifth allowed Western Illinois to score their fifth run of the contest, but the Crusaders added an insurance tally in the sixth with an unearned run to secure the victory.

Amanda Gilbertson (Murrieta, Calif./West Albany H.S., Ore.) went the distance for the win for the Crusaders, allowing seven hits and just two earned runs. She also struck out four. KarenMarie Pena suffered the loss for the hosts, striking out five but also walking five in five innings of work.

Game two saw Valpo score first in the third inning as Taylor Callahan (Grayson, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian H.S.) singled to center to score Kelly Silvey (Indianapolis, Ind./Bishop Chatard H.S.). Each had two hits in the game. Western Illinois tied the game in the fourth as Melissa Dempsky singled home Meghan Strazar for an unearned run.

The game remained tied until the seventh when Cass Hallstrom doulbed to left center with two outs to plate Stanforth with the winning run.

Ashlee Blankenbaker (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) scattered five hits while going the distance for the Crusaders but suffered the loss despite striking out nine. Kim King started for Western Illinois but Pena recorded the win in relief.

Valpo (19-30, 13-9 Mid-Con) and Western Illinois (23-27, 12-10) will conclude the regular season on Saturday afternoon with another doubleheader. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Green Bay
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Valpo