The Crusaders came out firing on all cylinders in game one of Saturday's doubleheader against IPFW, rolling to a 9-1 win in six innings, but the Mastodons righted the ship in game two, picking up a 5-1 victory at the Valparaiso University Softball Field.
Coming off her victory at Purdue Thursday, Chris Halstead
(Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) was excellent in the circle for the Crusaders again Saturday, holding IPFW hitless for the first 3.2 innings and earning her sixth win by allowing only the one hit in five innings of work. The Mastodons managed only two hits in the game, and scored their lone run off reliever Kayla Grutz
(Bellevue, Iowa/Bellevue) in the sixth.
The Valpo offense, on the other hand, pounded out 12 hits, starting with the first batter of the game, Ann Sievert
(Davenport, Iowa/Assumption), who singled, went to second on a bunt, third on a wild pitch, and scored on a squeeze bunt from Courtney LaFerle
After two scoreless innings, the floodgates opened in the fourth, starting with Taylor Callahan
(Pendergrass, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian), who reached on an error by IPFW second baseman Ashley Johnson. Three batters later, Ashley Wolter's
(Denver, Iowa/Denver) bunt single was thrown away by the first baseman, allowing Callahan to score from third. The next batter, Mallory Gill
(Beloit, Wis./Memorial) ripped a double to center, scoring Gill and Beth Adamski
(Saint John, Ind./Lake Central) who had singled earlier. Then with two outs, Sievert drew a walk with Gill on third, and Gill scored on a double steal moments later, running the score to 5-1. Alicia Ashburn
(Mishawaka, Ind./Mishawaka) closed out the scoring in the inning later in her at bat, plating Sievert on a single to center.
Valpo added another run in the fifth on an RBI single from Wolter, and ended the game on a two-run single from Callahan in the sixth.
In game two, IPFW grabbed their first lead of the day in the fourth when Jenna Beachy scored on a fielder's choice groundout. But the Crusaders tied it in the bottom of the fourth as Callahan singled to lead off, moved to second on a groundout, and scored when centerfielder Kayla Vargo lost Bethany Boomer's
(Allen Park, Mich./Allen Park) pop-up in the sun.
But the Mastodons surged in front in the sixth off reliever Andrea Zappia
(Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) and put the game out of reach with a three-run seventh, highlighted by a two-run triple from Vargo.
Zappia took the loss for the Crusaders to fall to 5-9, while Jenna Connelly earned the win for the Mastodons (8-26), improving her record to 3-13.
Adamski had the biggest offensive day for the Brown and Gold, picking up three hits and improving her batting average to .210. In her last 13 games, the junior is batting .316 (12-for-38) after starting the season in a 5-for-43 slump.
The Crusaders (15-20) will return to action Tuesday afternoon on the road at Saint Joseph's for a doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
Game one box score
Game two box score