The Valparaiso University softball team saw its 2003 campaign come to a close on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders dropped a doubleheader to Oakland by scores of 8-0 and 7-2 in Rochester, Mich.
In the opener, Megan Piar doubled home the first run of the game in the opening inning and Jennifer Granger plated two with a double of her own as the Golden Grizzlies jumped out in front 3-0 after one off of starter Amanda Gilbertson (Murrieta, Calif./West Albany H.S., Ore.).
Brittany Atteberry (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central H.S.) relieved Gilbertson in the third and allowed two unearned runs in the fourth. Oakland scored three more in the sixth, ending the game on a Linnea Utecht RBI single.
Julie Anderson went the distance for the hosts, silencing Valpo bats, as she allowed just two hits while striking out seven. Bridget Schwoegler (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton H.S.) singled with one out in the second and Ali Bultman (Hamilton, Ohio/Fairfield H.S.) had a two-out bunt single in the fifth to provide the Crusaders' lone baserunners of the game.
Game two saw Utecht single home a run in the opening inning off of Jessica Radtke (Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial H.S.). Oakland (29-23-1, 15-5 Mid-Con) plated three more runs in the second, all with two outs, then added two more in the third on a triple by Nina Catanzaro to increase the lead to 6-0. A triple by Utecht in the sixth, her third RBI of the game, scored the Golden Grizzlies final run of the game.
Valpo plated their first run of the day in the sixth. Amy Mitchell (Star, Idaho/Eagle H.S.) doubled down the leftfield line to lead off and advanced to third on (Stephanie Reinke's (Parker, Colo./J.K. Mullen H.S.) bunt single. Kelly Smoker Kalamazoo, Mich./Comstock H.S.) brought home Mitchell with a sacrifice fly to center to put the Brown and Gold on the scoreboard.
The Crusaders added a second run in the seventh as Bultman singled to left with one out. After advancing to second on an error by the third baseman, the senior scored when Mitchell lifted a fly ball to left that was dropped by the Golden Grizzlies.
Utecht, who went 4-for-4 at the plate, picked up the victory for Oakland, striking out four while scattering four hits. Radtke recorded her first career complete game, allowing 11 hits and striking out one.
Radtke, Bultman, Corey Burns (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg H.S.), and Tana Barnes (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.) all took the diamond for the final time as seniors for Valpo, which concluded its season with a 7-37 mark, 3-16 in the Mid-Continent Conference.