Errors cost the Crusaders four unearned runs Saturday afternoon, and the Centenary Ladies took full advantage, sweeping Valpo by identical 4-2 scores at the Valparaiso University Softball Field.
Game one got off to an inauspicious start, as for the second straight contest Emerald Doria led off with a solo home run against Chris Halstead
(Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral). Unlike Friday, however, Halstead settled in to get out of the inning with no further damage and gave the Crusaders a chance to get back in it.
In the second, Valpo did exactly that, loading the bases with no one out on a walk, hit by pitch and bunt single. The next batter, Alicia Ashburn
(Mishawaka, Ind./Mishawaka) walked to force in a run and tie the game. Unfortunately, the Brown and Gold could not capitalize further, as Ashley Lail danced out of danger with a strikeout, force at home and groundout.
Halstead would breeze into the fourth inning, but she surrendered a leadoff hit in that frame to Lail. Two batters later, Andrea Zappia
(Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) entered the circle with Lail on second and one out. After a single put runners on first and third, the Crusaders caught Lindsey Jones, the runner on first, in a rundown between first and second. But as she was being chased back to first base, Ashburn's throw ticked off her back and into foul territory allowing Lail to cross home with the go-ahead run.
The Ladies would add two insurance runs in the seventh, and they proved to be crucial, as Karen Korb
(Indianapolis, Ind./Lutheran North) singled home Ann Sievert
(Davenport, Iowa/Assumption) with two outs in the seventh. That would it, though, for the Crusaders who saw Halstead take the loss, falling to 7-6, while Lail went the distance and improved to 16-13.
The second game saw Centenary break through early again, scoring an unearned run in the second after a throwing error by starter Stephanie Kelly
(Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield). The Ladies added three more in the fourth, aided by another Kelly throwing error, to put the game away.
Valpo scored single runs in the fourth and fifth, with Beth Adamski
(Saint John, Ind./Lake Central) taking home on a double steal in the fourth and Taylor Callahan
(Pendergrass, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) singling in one more in the fifth.
Kelly (4-7) suffered the loss and Lail threw six more innings in game two to earn her 17th win of the season for the Ladies (30-22, 12-8 Mid-Con).
Korb was the top Crusader offensively, going 3-for-5 with an RBI, and laying down her team-leading 20th sacrifice bunt of the year. Sievert was the only other Valpo player with more than one hit, adding a single and her team-leading fifth triple.
The Brown and Gold (18-24, 5-11 Mid-Con) take a brief break from conference play Tuesday night when they welcome in-state rival Notre Dame for a single game beginning at 5:00 p.m. Coverage on 95.1 FM and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics kicks off at 4:50 p.m.
Game one box score
Game two box score