Twelve walks issued by Valparaiso pitchers paved the way for La Salle to defeat the Crusaders 8-6 on Friday afternoon in Kissimmee, Fla. Valpo's second game against Gardner-Webb was cancelled in the fifth inning due to rain.
The Explorers opened the game scoring four runs in the top of the first inning and added two more in the third. The Crusaders got on the board in the second when Corey Burns (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg H.S.) doubled home Monica Rowan (Evergreen Park, Ill./Evergreen Park H.S.) who had also doubled.
Valpo added three in the third to cut the deficit to 6-4 as Stephanie Reinke (Parker, Colo./J.K. Mullen H.S.) scored on an error and Rowan drove home two more with another double. The Crusaders tied the game in the sixth as Kelly Smoker (Kalamazoo, Mich./Comstock H.S.) doubled home two runs.
However, three consecutive walks and an error led to two La Salle runs in the seventh as the Explorers pulled out the victory.
Erica Dahlmeier (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic H.S.) suffered the loss for the Brown and Gold as the Explorers had just five hits in the game, compared with Valpo's 12.
The game with Gardner-Webb will not be resumed, nor will it be made up. Valpo (2-5) will return to action on Saturday to conclude their spring trip. The Crusaders will face Rhode Island at 1:20 p.m. CST and Sacred Heart at 3:10 p.m. CST.