Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Splits Twinbill With Iowa State Sunday
Kelsey Phalen launched a home run in both ends of the doubleheader Sunday. (Ray Acevedo)
Kelsey Phalen launched a home run in both ends of the doubleheader Sunday. (Ray Acevedo)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valparaiso run-ruled a BCS opponent for the first time in the modern era, trouncing Iowa State 11-2 in five innings to close play at the Cyclone Indoor Invitational Sunday afternoon in Ames, Iowa.  The Crusaders bounced back from an 11-4 defeat against the Cyclones in the opening game of Sunday’s twinbill.

The Crusaders opened the scoring against the Cyclones immediately in the nightcap.  Junior Sara Strickland (Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon) led off the game with a single, stole second and advanced to third two batters later as junior Jordan Rutkowski (Alden, N.Y./Alden) walked on a wild pitch.  A fielder’s choice loaded the bases for senior Sadie Conner (Washington, Ill./Washington), who grounded into a fielder’s choice of her own with all runners advancing safely, scoring Strickland.  Junior Kelsey Phalen (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) hit into yet another fielder’s choice, this one scoring Rutkowski to make it 2-0 Valpo.

Iowa State got its first two runners of the bottom of the first on, but junior Alex Lagesse (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) induced a double-play line drive back to the circle and then registered a strikeout to keep ISU off the scoreboard.  Valpo would put three more runs on the board in the top of the second, as senior KC Boldt (Red Wing, Minn./Red Wing) and freshman Angie Doerffler (Fort Wayne, Ind./Concordia Lutheran) both scored on a double by Strickland.  The junior then came around to score on a single off the bat of sophomore Jennifer Hermanson (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) to increase the Crusader edge to 5-0.

But that would just be a precursor to the fireworks in the third inning.  Phalen led off the big frame with a homer, her second round-tripper of the day.  After a Cyclone pitching change, sophomore Jessie Marinec (Alsip, Ill./Marist) walked and Boldt connected for a single, and two batters later, Strickland drew a free pass to load the bases.  Hermanson then walked on four straight pitches, scoring Marinec to push the lead to 7-0, and Rutkowski followed with her first career grand slam to cap the six-run third and give Valpo an 11-0 advantage.

Iowa State scored two in the fourth inning to cut its deficit to nine runs and got a runner on base in the fifth with one away, but Lagesse forced a pop-out and then picked up a strikeout to close the abbreviated victory.  The junior scattered five hits over her five innings, improving to 1-1 on the season.  Tori Torrescano took the loss for the Cyclones, going just 2+ innings in the start and surrendering six runs to fall to 1-1.  Strickland went 3-for-3 with three runs scored, two RBIs, and a stolen base to lead the Crusader offense, while Rutkowski tallied all four of her RBIs on the grand slam.

“Our hitters did a nice job of making some adjustments for game two,” said Crusader head coach Jordan Stevens.  “We took much better swings and were much more aggressive over the plate.  Alex gave us a very good pitching performance, and we played defense behind her.  When you take good swings, throw well and field the ball, you’ve got a good shot in any game.  It was nice to bounce back quickly from game one, and I thought it was important for us to get on the board first in game two.  We did that, and it just kept rolling from there.”

The opener did not get off to a good start for Valpo, as Iowa State, batting as the visiting team, put up two runs in the top of the first.  The Crusaders cut the deficit in half in the bottom half of the frame, as Strickland doubled to lead off and scored on back-to-back groundouts, but the Cyclones put up five runs in their second inning, highlighted by a three-run homer from Torrescano, to go ahead 7-1.

Iowa State (5-1) added another run in the third inning, but Valpo would hold it scoreless over the next three frames and put three more runs on the board in the fifth.  Doerffler led off the inning with a double and eventually scored on a Cyclone error.  Phalen then connected on a two-run homer to score Rutkowski as well, cutting the ISU lead to 8-4.  But that would be it for the Crusader offense, and Iowa State added three more runs in the seventh for the final margin.

Junior Shaleigh Jansen (Ottawa, Ill./Ottawa Township) took the loss in the start for Valpo, falling to 0-1 after giving up seven runs in 1.2 innings of work.  Redshirt sophomore Amanda Bolton (Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon [Arizona]) had her longest stint in the circle as a Crusader in relief of Jansen, throwing 3.1 innings and giving up just one run.  Rachel Zabriskie improved to 2-0 with the complete-game win for Iowa State, striking out 11.  Marinec was the only Crusader to pick up multiple hits in the opener.

“That first game started out rough for us,” said Stevens.  “We put too many runners on base the first couple innings, and when they got on, they capitalized on it.  I thought we played much better in the middle four innings; we shored up our defense and Amanda did a great job to keep them there.  We were within striking distance heading into the sixth and seventh, but just couldn’t capitalize.  It was just an up and down game for us.”

Valparaiso (2-2) will be off next weekend before embarking on its spring break trip the following weekend.  The trip begins at Stetson’s Hatter Classic on Friday, Feb. 25.

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