Valparaiso ended its four game series with Southern Utah on Saturday afternoon, getting swept in a doubleheader by the scores of 9-1 and 8-4 in Cedar City.
The Thunderbirds jumped on the board in the opening inning of game one, scoring four times, including a pair of unearned run as Valpo made three errors in the frame. Southern Utah added two more in the fourth on a throwing error before the Crusaders found the scoreboard.
Lisa Setzler (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) singled home Tricia Speziale (Elmhurst, Ill./York H.S.) for the only Valpo run of the game in the top of the fifth inning.
The hosts scored three more times in the fifth, the last two scoring on Ashley Howerton's double down the leftfield line to end the game.
Mandy Brown registered the win for Southern Utah while Amanda Gilbertson (Murrieta, Calif./West Albany H.S., Ore.) suffered the loss for the Brown and Gold. Karen Constien (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North H.S.) went 3-for-3 in the opener for the Crusaders, while Taylor Callahan (Grayson, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian H.S.) added two hits.
In game two, Valpo scored a pair of runs in the top of the second to take a 2-1 lead on a two-run homer to right by Setzler. Monica Rowan (Evergreen Park, Ill./Evergreen Park H.S.), who had walked, also scored.
Southern Utah (29-13, 10-2 Mid-Con) plated four in the third on a two-run single by Dusti Winward and two-run homer by Lacee LePrey. Valpo answered with one in the fourth as Beth Adamski (St. John, Ind./Lake Central H.S.) doubled home Constien. The Crusaders closed the deficit to one, 5-4, with another tally in the sixth on a Speziale homerun, but that would be as close as they would get.
The Thunderbirds tacked on three more in the sixth to put the game away. Bobbi Jo Merril earned the win, allowing just two Valpo hits in four innings, while LePrey got the save, allowing just one in three innings of work. Gilbertson took the loss for the Crusaders.
Valpo (13-21, 7-5) will return to the diamond on Monday afternoon with a 4 p.m. doubleheader at Illinois-Chicago.