Valparaiso rallied from a four-run fifth inning deficit in game two of Tuesday's doubleheader to force a 4-4 tie against Purdue in a game called after nine innings due to darkness at the Valparaiso University Softball Field. The Boilermakers rallied for a 6-3 victory over the Crusaders in the opener.
Game two started as a pitcher's dual as Valpo's Chris Halstead (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral H.S.) allowed just one baserunner through three innings and a single in the fourth. Purdue's starter Diana LaRiva went the first three innings, allowing just a walk, and Melissa Burns followed allowing just a walk in the fourth.
Purdue (29-17-1) jumped in front with four runs in the fifth. Staci Falzon doubled to right-center with the bases loaded and two outs to plate three and Andrea Hillsey followed with a double to score Falzon.
Valpo answered with three in the fifth. After Stacy Adamski (Saint John, Ind./Lake Central H.S.) reached on an error, Shannon Robinson (Toronto, Ont./John Redmond H.S.) followed with a single. Kelly Silvey (Indianapolis, Ind./Bishop Chatard H.S.) reached on a fielder's choice that erased Adamski from the basebaths and both runners moved up on a throwing error. Ann Sievert (Davenport, Iowa/Assumption H.S.) doubled home two and Megan Carroll (Eaton Rapids, Mich./Eaton Rapids H.S.) singled home Siever to cut the deficit to 4-3.
Andrea Zappia (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central H.S.), who came on in the fifth in relief, pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning, allowing the Crusaders to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning. Beth Adamski (Saint John, Ind./Lake Central H.S.) led off with a walk and pinch runner Maggie Seidel (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest H.S.) was sacrificed to second. Taylor Callahan (Grayson, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian H.S.) singled to put runners on the corners. Stacy Adamski added a sacrifice fly to center to tie the game but pinch-runner Mallory Gill (Beloit, Wis./Memorial H.S.) was cut down trying to advance to second to end the inning.
Purdue put a runner on second in the seventh and on third in the ninth but Zappia worked out of both jams. The freshman allowed just two hits and struck out three in 4.1 innings of relief. Meanwhile, LaRiva, who re-entered in the circle, sent Valpo down in order each of the last three innings before the game was called on account of darkness.
The game was just the second tie in Crusader softball history, with the other being a scoreless draw against DePaul in 1986.
The opener saw DaQueta Johnson open with a sacrifice fly in the first to give Purdue the lead only to see Valpo answer with three in the bottom of the inning. Emily Tkaczyk (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Mundelein H.S.) walked with one out and Callahan followed with a single. Courtney LaFerle (Elgin, Ill./Larkin H.S.) drove home one with a single and Beth Adamski added another with a single. A wild pitch plated the third run.
The Boilermakers battled back with two in the fifth inning to tied on back-to-back RBI singles. Purdue added two in the sixth to take the lead and added an insurance run in the seventh for the victory.
Carroll and Callahan each had two hits in the opener for the Crusaders. Brittany Atteberry (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central H.S.) went five innings allowing three earned runs and seven hits for the Brown and Gold while LaRiva earned the win in relief for Purdue allowing one hit and striking out six in three innings of work.
Valparaiso (7-29-1) will continue the current homestand on Wednesday afternoon with a doubleheader against Loyola (Ill.). First pitch of the twinbill is set for 3 p.m.