Valparaiso University came up on the short end of a 1-0 pitcher's dual on Saturday morning in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament held in Macomb, Ill.
The Crusaders now fall into the loser's bracket and will face host Western Illinois this afternoon beginning at 1:15 p.m. in an elimination game.
Mid-Con Pitcher of the Year Cheyenne Davies showed why she earned the honor, allowing just Valpo one base runner, a one out infield single by Beth Adamski (St. John, Ind./Lake Central H.S.) in the fifth inning. Davies struck out 12 while not walking a batter on the way to the complete game victory.
Ashlee Blankenbaker (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) was nearly as sharp for Valpo, allowing just three hits and one walk while striking out six in picking up the tough-luck loss.
Centenary (35-26) scored the game's lone run in the third as Traci Smith led off with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. After a groundout advanced her to third, Lauren Koehn put the Ladies in front for good with an RBI single up the middle.
Valpo (20-33) will now need to fight through the loser's bracket to try and win the title. Centenary will face the winner of the Crusaders-Westerwinds game this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. The Valpo-Western Illinois winner would need to beat the Ladies twice to win the title, with the if necessary game taking place Sunday at noon for the championship. Centenary needs just one victory to claim the crown.