Valparaiso closed out the 2005 regular season with a 5-4 victory over Illinois-Chicago on the road Thursday evening.
Lauren Brennan put the Flames in front quickly with a two run double in the first. Valpo answered with a single run in the second as Beth Adamski led off the inning with a homerun.
The Crusaders went ahead in the third as Taylor Callahan singled home two runs and senior Kelly Silvey brought home Callahan with a double.
Valpo added an insurance run in the sixth, which proved to be the difference. Mallory Gill singled, moved to third on Megan Carroll's single and eventually stole home as part of a double steal.
Illinois-Chicago (35-25) added two runs in the sixth, one one a single by Brennan and another on a double by Nicole Robinson, but could not push across the tying run.
Senior Brittany Atteberry got the win for the Crusaders in the circle, going 5.1 innings. Andrea Zappia came on to get the save, her third of the season, tying Valpo's single season record. Carroll and Shannon Robinson each had two hits for the Brown and Gold.
Valpo (12-40-1) will now have to wait for this weekend's Mid-Continent Conference action to see if the Crusaders will earn a spot in the conference tournament. The Brown and Gold is idle this weekend and currently sits in fifth place in the conference standings. The top four teams qualify for the tournament.