Valparaiso's softball team played seven games during its fall campaign, posting a 2-4-1 record over two weekends.
The Crusaders opened with a 1-3-1 mark at the Chicagoland Classic in Orland Park. Valpo struggled offensively in the first two contests, falling 2-0 to Bradley and 8-0 against Lewis.
Game three of the classic saw Valpo bang out ten hits in the contest, including two each by Emily Tcaczyk, Shannon Robinson, Courtney LaFerle, and Beth Adamski, but Winona State scored three runs in the sixth to record a 5-2 win over the Crusaders.
Valpo recorded a 2-1 win over Wisconsin in the fourth game as freshman Andrea Zappia went the distance in the circle. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh, the Brown and Gold tied the game on a Taylor Callahan sacrifice fly. Mallory Gill then drove in the winning run with her second hit of the day, a single with two outs.
The final game of the Chicagoland Classic saw Valpo tie Northern Illinois 3-3. Valpo scored three times in the third as Megan Carroll tripled and Tcaczyk reached on a bunt single. Callahan drove in the other two runs with a base hit.
At the Purdue Classic, Valpo posted a 1-1 mark. After downing IUPUI 5-4, the Crusaders were shutout by the host Boilermakers 9-0. In the opener, Valpo spotted the Jaguars four runs before battling back. Callahan homered in the fourth and Gill had a pinch-hit two-RBI single in the fifth. Adamski scored on a passed ball in the sixth, before Valpo won the game in the final inning on her double to right-center. Brittany Atteberry entered the game in the sixth with the bases loaded and worked out of the jam to earn the save. In the final game, Brooke Baker held the Brown and Gold hitless.
?We are excited about the upcoming spring," head coach Randy Schneider said. ?This is a very cohesive group that takes great pride in working hard. They are hungry to be successful in 2005. We posted seven different line-ups in the fall games, so I feel we will be much more stable in the spring and certainly much more competitive. It will be good to have the off-season to work offensively and get stronger and faster."