For the second straight day, the Valparaiso softball team split a pair of games in Kissimmee, Fla., defeating Sacred Heart 3-2 in nine innings before falling to Loyola (Ill.) in eight innings on Tuesday.
In the opener against the Pioneers, Valpo got on the board first in the second inning. Erica Dahlmeier (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic H.S.) singled and scored on a Tana Barnes (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.) triple.
Sacred Heart tied it in the fourth and the game remained tied at one heading to extra innings. In the eighth, with Nicole Dubs (Genoa City, Wis./Badger H.S.) on second base with the international tie-breaker in place, Barnes singled her home to put the Crusaders up one. Barnes finished the game 3-for-4.
The Pioneers tied it in the bottom of the inning, but Valpo plated a run in the ninth to pull out the win as Karen Constien (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North H.S.) singled home Kelly Silvey (Indianapolis, Ind./Bishop Chatard H.S.).
Dahlmeier picked up the win in relief of Jessica Radtke (Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial H.S.) to record her first collegiate victory.
In the nightcap, the Crusaders scored in the first against Loyola on doubles by Constien and Tricia Speziale (Elmhurst, Ill./York H.S.). The Ramblers plated two in the top of the second, but Valpo tied it in the fourth.
Barnes singled and moved to third after an error on the rightfielder, then scored on an error by the leftfielder and the game then moved to extra innings tied at two.
The Ramblers scored three times in the eighth against Amanda Gilbertson (Murrieta, Calif./West Albany H.S., Ore.) to pull out the victory.
Valpo (2-2) will return to action on Wednesday with games against Detroit and UCF.