Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Extend Winning Streak to Five Games
Sadie Conner picked up five hits over Wednesday's two games. (Ray Acevedo)
Sadie Conner picked up five hits over Wednesday's two games. (Ray Acevedo)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

One day after its pitching dominated a pair of games, the Valparaiso offense took center stage Wednesday, totaling 26 hits as the Crusaders earned victories over Saint Francis (Pa.), 6-1, and Holy Cross, 7-5, at the Rebel Spring Games in Orlando, Fla.  The pair of wins extends the Crusader winning streak to five games.

Sophomore Jordan Rutkowski (Alden, N.Y./Alden), the reigning Horizon League Batter of the Week, continued her torrid stretch at the plate, registering six hits on Wednesday, including a 4-for-4 effort against Saint Francis that included her first home run of the season.  Rutkowski now has hit safely in each of her nine games this year and is hitting .548 on the year.  Junior Sadie Conner (Washington, Ill./Washington) added five hits on the day, one of which was a home run against Holy Cross, her second round-tripper of the year.

“We started swinging the bat really well today,” said Crusader head coach Randy Schneider.  “I’m happy with where our hitting is at right now, and obviously Jordan is hitting the ball very well.  She’s been highly productive this whole trip.”

Rutkowski’s longball against the Red Flash came in the third inning, putting the Crusaders on the scoreboard.  Kelsey Phalen (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) would score the eventual game-winning run later in the frame on an RBI single from Joylyn Ichiyama (Torrance, Calif./Redondo Union).  Valpo scored three in the fourth inning, getting RBI singles by Sara Strickland (Phoenix, Ariz./Horizon) and Rutkowski, the former also coming home on an attempted double steal later in the inning.  Strickland closed out the scoring in the sixth following an error after a successful double steal.

Alex Lagesse (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) earned the complete-game victory in the circle, giving up just five hits and one unearned run while striking out five hitters as she improved to 2-1 on the year.  Megan Layne took the loss for Saint Francis (3-8), giving up three runs in three-plus innings of work.

Valpo, batting as the home team in the nightcap, found itself down 1-0 after the top of the first, but immediately responded with four in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead for good over Holy Cross.  Rutkowski got things going with an RBI single and would later score on a double by Phalen.  Phalen and Jessie Marinec (Alsip, Ill./Marist) then both came home thanks to a 2-RBI single by Conner.

Holy Cross added another run in the second, but the bottom of the third saw the Crusaders push across two more tallies, as Ichiyama connected on a solo home run and Marinec scored on a passed ball.  Conner closed out the scoring for Valpo in the fifth with her four-bagger.

Sam McGee (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson) moved to 4-0 in 2010 as she pitched six innings in the winning effort, giving up four runs, three earned, but striking out six batters.  Shaleigh Jansen (Ottawa, Ill./Ottawa Township) pitched the seventh inning for her third save of the year.  Jenna Legros took the loss for Holy Cross (1-5), falling to 0-1 after allowing six runs in two-plus innings.

“I thought Alex pitched a really good game in the opener,” said Schneider.  “I didn’t feel we pitched quite as well the second game, but we did what we needed to do to get things done.  I felt we played really well defensively today, which really helped us.  It’s been great to go 4-0 down here in Florida.  Our players have really stayed excited and we’ve had a great time, and now it’s time to move on and try to get some more wins at Auburn.”

Valparaiso (9-3) takes a day off tomorrow as it travels to Auburn, Ala., where it will play in the War Eagle Classic this weekend.  Tournament play begins for the Crusaders Friday at 5:30 p.m. CST against Gardner-Webb, with live stats available at www.valpoathletics.com.

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 2 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24 #21/21 Notre Dame 7
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