Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders See Season End in Extra-Innings Slugfest With Loyola
Katie Williams went 2-for-4 with a walk and a double against Loyola. (Ray Acevedo)
Katie Williams went 2-for-4 with a walk and a double against Loyola. (Ray Acevedo)

Friday, May 08, 2009

Valparaiso and Loyola engaged in a slugfest Friday evening at the Horizon League Championships, with the lead changing hands on multiple occasions, but after tying the game with two outs in the top of the seventh, the Crusaders could not come out on top, as the Ramblers ended up earning a 10-9 win in eight innings.  The loss concludes Valpo’s record-setting season at 25-24.

“With all of our injuries and all of our youth, as a coaching staff we give our players a lot of credit, because they continued to fight throughout the tournament,” said Crusader head coach Randy Schneider.  “Despite having a number of kids out of position, we felt like the players stepped up and played their hearts out.  I am happy with the way we played, but in the final innings today we just couldn’t come out on top.”

The Crusaders got on the board right away in the top of the first, taking advantage of wildness on the part of Loyola starter Amy Solava.  Karen Korb (Indianapolis, Ind./Lutheran) led off the game with a walk, moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt and advanced to third on a wild pitch.  Ashley Wolter (Denver, Iowa/Denver) then laid down a perfect squeeze bunt and Korb beat the throw to the plate for the game’s first run.

The next three Valpo hitters all walked, prompting a pitching change by the Ramblers.  Hilary Payne entered in the circle for Loyola and was rudely greeted by Whitney Warner (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove), who laced a first-pitch single through the right side to plate Sadie Conner (Washington, Ill./Washington), giving the Crusaders a 2-0 lead.  The Ramblers quickly took the lead, however, getting an RBI single by Bridget Lally and a two-run homer by Jenna Grim in the bottom of the first to take the 3-2 advantage.

Loyola added another run to its tally in the second on a solo homer by Alexandra Trudnich, but Valpo responded immediately in the third, as Joylyn Ichiyama (Torrance, Calif./Redondo Union) launched her second homer in as many days to cut the deficit back to one run.  In the fourth, Katie Williams (Chicago, Ill./Lane Tech [Kishwaukee C.C.]) and Jill Jacobson (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) led off with back-to-back doubles to tie the game.  With two outs and Jacobson on third, Wolter stepped up and beat out an infield single to give the Crusaders the lead back at 5-4.

Valpo added to its advantage in the top of the fifth, when Ichiyama reached on a error to lead off the frame and pinch-runner Aubrey Sundling (Huntington, Ind./Huntington North) came around to score on an RBI single by Williams.  But the Ramblers answered immediately, as Lauren Arceneaux hit a leadoff home run to cut the Crusader advantage back to 6-5.

Sara Strickland (Phoenix, Ariz./Horizon) led off the top of the sixth for the Crusaders with a walk, and two batters later, Conner knocked her second home run in as many days to left-center, pushing the Valpo lead to three runs at 8-5.  But Loyola put together a big inning in the bottom half of the frame, getting a three-run homer from Kaycee Tharp to tie the score and then a solo shot by Lally to take a 9-8 lead into the final inning of regulation.

The Crusaders’ first two batters in the seventh went down in order, but Strickland worked an eight-pitch at-bat, fouling off two pitches with two strikes and eventually drawing a walk.  Wolter, in the final at-bat of her career, stepped up in the clutch, delivering a double to the wall in left field to score Strickland and knot up the score at nine apiece.  Loyola got a two-out single in the bottom half of the frame, but Stephanie Kelly (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield) registered a strikeout to send the game into extra innings.

Ichiyama led off the top of the eighth for Valpo with a walk and moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt and a groundout.  Williams drew a walk to put two runners on with two outs, but Jacobson was caught looking to keep the Crusaders off the scoreboard.  Trudnich started the Rambler eighth with a single to left-center, and after Valpo intentionally walked the bases loaded with one out to set up the double play, Grim lined a single through the infield to plate Trudnich with the game-winning run.

Kelly took the loss for Valpo after throwing 1.2 innings of relief, falling to 8-10 on the season.  Krista Crosson earned the victory for Loyola (28-23), giving up four runs in her five innings of relief work.  Warner, Williams and Wolter each registered two hits to lead the Crusader offense, while Conner and Strickland each scored two runs and Wolter drove in three tallies.

The loss ends Valparaiso’s record-setting campaign at 25-24.  Kelly closes her career with 26 victories, fifth-most all-time at Valpo, and 320 strikeouts, fourth-most in Crusader history.  Korb ends her four years with Valpo career records in runs scored (104), stolen bases (100) and sacrifice bunts (52), and is fourth all-time with 152 career hits.  This season, she surpassed her own single-season mark for stolen bases, swiping 35 bases, and finished second in a single campaign with 44 runs scored.

Wolter ends her time at Valpo with career records for home runs (22) and RBIs (92), and set a new single-season mark for RBIs this year (40) while tying the single-season home run mark with nine long balls.  She also broke the Crusader single-season mark for total bases (87) against the Ramblers and finished her career with 150 hits, fifth-most all-time at Valpo.  Williams also concludes her two-year Crusader career.

As a team, the 2009 Crusader squad set new single-season program records for batting average (.312), on-base percentage (.376), slugging percentage (.453), hits (419), runs scored (254), home runs (36), RBIs (219), total bases (608) and stolen bases (131).  Strickland, the Horizon League Newcomer of the Year, set a new single-season mark with 46 runs scored as well.

“We will definitely miss our seniors, but the future looks extremely bright for us,” said Schneider.  “Katie, in particular, really stepped up and had her best game of the year today.  We had a number of freshmen and sophomores have great games hitting the ball this weekend, especially Conner and Ichiyama, and we hope that carries over into next season.”
W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 6 4th/12 (311)
W Tennis Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 6 Milwaukee 7
Softball Detroit 0 VU Softball Field
Apr 6 Valpo 8
Baseball Wright State 4 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 6 Valpo 2
W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 7 9th/12 (642)
Softball Northern Illinois 6 VU Softball Field
Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
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
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
M Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 5:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
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
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26 Horizon League Tournament
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