Crusaders Split Pair of Saturday Nail-Biters at IUPUI
Saturday, April 8, 2006
Valpo and IUPUI hooked up for a pair of extra-inning thrillers Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis, with the Crusaders triumphing 2-1 in 10 innings in the opener before dropping the nightcap 6-5 in 11 innings.

Taylor Callahan (Pendergrass, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) was the hero in game one, singling pinch-runner Kayla Grutz (Bellevue, Iowa/Bellevue) in from third with two outs in the 10th. Grutz was running for junior Beth Adamski (Saint John, Ind./Lake Central), who led off the inning with a double to the right-center field gap.

Andrea Zappia (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) was the stellar in the circle en route to her fifth win of the season, surrendering only three hits in 5.2 innings of work. The sophomore escaped trouble in the bottom of the 10th inning, coercing a game-ending double play off the bat of Amy Bowman with two Jaguars on base.

The Brown and Gold scored an unearned run in the first inning, taking advantage of a hit batsman and passed ball to pull in front. IUPUI, however, tied the game in the bottom of inning one before the two clubs went scoreless over the next eight frames.

Devan Craig went the distance in the circle for the Jaguars and suffered the tough-luck loss despite allowing only seven hits.

The Valpo offense was much better in game two, pounding out 12 hits and taking a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Ann Sievert (Davenport, Iowa/Assumption) recorded one of her five hits on the day with the bases loaded, scoring the pinch-running Grutz from third. The next batter, Callahan, reached on a fielder's choice and Adamski scored on an error by catcher Stephenie Thompson.

The Crusaders then tacked on an insurance run in the fourth when Sievert singled again, scoring Adamski who tallied a hit earlier in the inning.

But the Jaguar bats warmed up in the bottom of the fourth, chasing starter Stephanie Kelly (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield) with three straight hits to open the frame. Zappia came on in relief with two runs already in and a runner of second, but IUPUI was not done, scoring three more times on six total hits, putting a five spot on the board and jumping in front for the first time all day.

The lead, however, was short lived. Callahan walked to open the Valpo fifth, went to second on a sacrifice, and scored on a double down the left field line off the bat of Shannon Robinson (Toronto, Ontario/John Redmond). Robinson scored the tying run moments later on an error by Jaguar second baseman Cayleigh Harvey.

The teams went silent until the eighth, when the Brown and Gold had a glorious opportunity to plate the go-ahead run. With pinch-runner Bethany Boomer (Allen Park, Mich./Allen Park) and two outs, Sievert singled through the right side, but Boomer was gunned out at the plate to end the threat.

IUPUI won the game in the 11th on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly from Jenna Crockett.

Zappia threw the final 7.2 innings for the Crusaders (11-17, 3-7 Mid-Con), taking the loss, while Breanna Howell earned the win in relief for the Jaguars (9-22, 4-5 Mid-Con). The two teams will close out their four-game series with a doubleheader Sunday morning beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Game one box score
Game two box score