The Valparaiso softball team split a doubleheader with IPFW on Tuesday afternoon in Fort Wayne, Ind. The Crusaders rallied for four runs in the seventh in the opener to win 5-3 before dropping the nightcap 11-3.
In the opener Valpo got on the board first in the second inning as Amanda Gilbertson (Murrietta, Calif./West Albany, Ore. H.S.) singled home Tricia Speziale (Elmhurst, Ill./York H.S.) for the early lead.
The Mastadons countered with a pair of runs in the fourth and one more in the fifth to take a 3-1 advantage into the seventh. Valpo began its rally taking advantage of IPFW miscues.
The Crusaders first two runners reached as a result of errors and Stephanie Reinke (Parker, Colo./J.K. Mullen H.S.) doubled home a run. Bridget Schwoegler (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton H.S.) then doubled home the tying run. Speziale then connected for the Brown and Gold's third straight double to plate both Reinke and Schwoegler to put Valpo in front.
Gilbertson picked up the win for the Crusaders, going the distance while striking out four. Mindy Pomeroy suffered the loss for IPFW.
Valpo pounded out ten hits in the game, with Reinke going 3-for-4, while Speziale and Gilbertson each had a pair of hits.
In the nightcap the Crusaders jumped out to an early lead only to see seven fielding miscues allow the Mastadons to rally for the victory.
The Brown and Gold scored an unearned run in the opening inning as Laurie Grabiak (St. Louis, Mo./Parkway North H.S.) walked and then scored after Kelly Smoker (Kalamazoo, Mich./Comstock H.S.) singled and both advanced on a throwing error. The Crusaders added a second run in the second when Grabiak singled home Ali Bultman (Hamilton, Ohio/Fairfield H.S.).
Fielding then hurt the Crusaders in the fourth inning as five Valpo errors led to seven IPFW runs in the frame, while another error in the fifth contributed to four more Mastadon runs.
Valpo pushed its third run across the plate in the top of the fifth when Smoker scored after an IPFW error.
Erica Dahlmeier (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic H.S.) suffered the loss for the Brown and Gold, despite allowing just two earned runs in 3.1 innings. Beth Harmon picked up the win for the hosts.
At the plate, Grabiak and Bultman each went 2-for-2 for Valparaiso, while IPFW banged out 11 for the game.
Valpo is now 4-13 on the season while IPFW moves to 9-12.