Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Rallies for Twinbill Split at Marshall
Jordan Rutkowski drove in three runs in the second game Tuesday. (Ray Acevedo)
Jordan Rutkowski drove in three runs in the second game Tuesday. (Ray Acevedo)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Down 4-0 after two innings in the nightcap Tuesday in Huntington, W.V., Valparaiso scored six runs over the next three frames and kept Marshall off the scoreboard the rest of the way to earn a 6-4 victory and a split of the doubleheader.  The Thundering Herd downed the Crusaders 8-0 in the day’s opener.

“I thought it showed the character of our players to bounce back after a really bad game in the opener,” said Crusader head coach Randy Schneider.  “We got more aggressive at the plate in the second game, took some more cuts at the ball and it paid off for us.  Marshall is a good team that just swept two from Cleveland last week, so it was a good win for our team and I’m happy to be able to have a split.”State

Marshall struck for a four-spot in the bottom of the second against the Crusaders in the second game of the day.  The Thundering Herd loaded the bases with one out and then got a sacrifice fly, a two-run double and an RBI single to take the 4-0 lead.

But Valpo struck back immediately in the third, denting the scoreboard for the first time on the day.  A one-out walk by Jennifer Hermanson (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) and a bunt single by Sara Strickland (Phoenix, Ariz./Horizon) put two on base.  Two batters later, Jordan Rutkowski (Alden, N.Y./Alden) kept her hot bat going with a double to right-center, plating both runners to bring the Crusaders back within two runs.

The deficit got sliced in half with the leadoff batter in the fourth inning, as Kelsey Phalen (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) led off the frame with a solo homer, her third round-tripper of the year.  Then with one on and one out, Tori Brown (Harrison, Ohio/Harrison) connected for her second home run of the season to put the Crusaders in front, 5-4.

Strickland reached with her second bunt single of the game in the fifth inning and Rutkowski eventually drove her in with a sacrifice fly for a key insurance tally to make it 6-4 Valpo.  Meanwhile, Sam McGee (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson) set down 14 out of 15 batters after the four-run second, and when Marshall placed two on with one out in the bottom of the seventh, the sophomore induced back-to-back groundball outs to close out the victory for the Crusaders.

McGee scattered eight hits in the complete-game effort while striking out five, improving to a perfect 5-0 in 2010.  Marshall’s Caitlyn Jackson started and took the loss, falling to 3-3 after giving up five runs in 3.1 innings of work.  Strickland went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while six other Crusaders tallied hits in the game as well.

The opener was a rough one for the Crusaders in all aspects, as they tallied just one hit, a Lisa DeBruzzi (Carlisle, Mass./Concord-Carlisle) single.  Valpo also committed five errors and two passed balls in the field as five of Marshall’s eight runs in the run-rule shortened game were of the unearned variety.

Alex Lagesse (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) took the loss in the circle for the Crusaders to fall to 5-2 after allowing five runs, only two of which were earned, on five hits and six walks in three-plus innings.  Shaleigh Jansen (Ottawa, Ill./Ottawa Township) pitched the final inning-plus for Valpo and pulled off a rare feat, striking out four batters in the fourth inning after entering in relief.  Katie Murphree bumped her record to 8-4 on the year with the complete-game win for Marshall (14-7).

"I’m not sure what it was in the first game, but we all just came out flat and played poorly,” said Schneider.  “I have to give our kids credit, though, for not letting it get to them and rebounding nicely in the second game.  We had a couple of players really step up today and perform when given the chance due to injuries.  Tori stepped right in and delivered the game-winning homer in the second game, and Hermanson did a good job filling in at right field for us.”

Valparaiso (13-5) now heads off for the final leg of its massive spring break road trip, traveling to Lawrence, Kan. to compete in the KU Invitational.  The Crusaders open play on Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. against the host Jayhawks.  Live stats will be available for all tournament games through www.valpoathletics.com.

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
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 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
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
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
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