Valparaiso managed just one run in two games on Thursday afternoon as the Crusaders dropped a doubleheader 3-1 and 3-0 to IPFW at the Valparaiso University Softball Field.
The Brown and Gold jumped in front in game one as Emily Tkaczyk (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Mundelein H.S.) singled with one out in the third inning. One out later, Courtney LaFerle (Elgin, Ill./Larkin H.S.) doubled to center to plate the lone Crusader run of the afternoon.
IPFW tied the game in the fifth. Ashley Johnson singled to lead off the inning, stole second, and advanced to third on a ground out. Tierni Green's sacrifice fly plated Johnson.
The Mastodons scored two more in the sixth, all with two outs. Three straight singles, including a two-run base-hit by Miranda Ditton gave IPFW all the runs they needed.
Beth Harmon scattered six hits in the complete game win. Brittany Atteberry (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central H.S.) went six innings, allowing two earned runs and nine hits while striking out five in the circle for the Crusaders.
Game two saw IPFW jump in front with an RBI ground out in the second. A single with one out by Green in the fifth added the second run and Angela Pasqueli's two-out double in the sixth plated the game's final tally.
Jenna Connelly tossed her first career shutout for IPFW (12-31), allowing just four hits and striking out five. Andrea Zappia (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central H.S.) started and went 5.1 innings for the Crusaders, allowing two earned runs and seven hits while fanning five.
Megan Carroll (Eaton Rapids, Mich./Eaton Rapids H.S.) went 2-for-4 in each game for Valpo while Laura Randolf had four hits, including three in the opener, on the day for IPFW.
Valparaiso (7-33-1) will return to the diamond on Friday as the Crusaders head to Rochester, Mich. for a Mid-Continent Conference doubleheader against Oakland. First pitch of the four-game weekend series is slated for 2 p.m. CDT.