The Crusaders closed out the 2006 softball season Saturday afternoon at the Valparaiso University Softball Field against UMKC, winning game one 2-1 before falling 4-2 in the nightcap.
Valpo's game one win was their 22nd of the season, the highest win total for a Crusader squad since the 1989 team went 23-15 and the fourth most wins in a single-season in program history. The win was also the school-record 55th of Head Coach Randy Schneider's four-year career.
(Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) took the ball in game one and stymied the Kangaroo offense from the start. The sophomore went the distance and surrendered only a seventh inning run on six hits. In the sixth, Zappia struck out Sarah Allen for her 100th punchout of the season, becoming one of only four Crusaders to strike out at least 100 in a year.
Valpo's game one offense came early, when Karen Korb
(Indianapolis, Ind./Lutheran North) walked with one out in the first inning, stole second and advanced to third on an error. Shannon Robinson
(Toronto, Ontario/John Redmond) singled Korb in moments later for her 51st hit of the year and team-high 24th RBI. Robinson's hit total is the second highest in school history behind Krista Bane's 53 in 1991, and her RBI total is the fifth best ever. Friday, Robinson doubled for the 13th time this season, matching Megan Carroll's
(Eaton Rapids, Mich./Eaton Rapids) year-old school record.
In the second inning, the Brown and Gold struck again when Taylor Callahan
(Pendergrass, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) raced in to score on a Beth Adamski
(Saint John, Ind./Lake Central) double off the wall in right. Callahan finished the year with a team-high 25 runs scored, matching her 2004 season, and leaving the junior with 64 in her career, the fifth-best total in program history.
In game two Kayla Grutz
(Bellevue, Iowa/Bellevue) started in the circle for the first time all season and was greeted rudely by the Kangaroos, who slapped four doubles off the sophomore in the first inning and plated four runs.
The score remained 4-0 until the bottom of the seventh when the hosts mounted a frantic comeback. After a line drive double play left only pinch-runner Korb on base with two outs and no runs in, senior captain Ann Sievert
(Davenport, Iowa/Assumption) singled in her final at bat and both runners moved up on a passed ball. Callahan was next, and she rifled a single off third-baseman Monica Canisales' glove to drive in Korb. Robinson then took her turn and reached when Callahan hustled to beat a force play at second on a ground ball to shortstop, scoring Sievert from third. Courtney LaFerle
(Elgin, Ill./Larkin), the potential winning run, then stroked a laser into centerfield but right at Allen who made the catch to end the ballgame.
Cori Mead (3-19) earned the victory for UMKC (11-44, 6-18 Mid-Con) by tossing four scoreless innings. Taia Jones did the most damage in the game for the Kangaroos, driving in two and scoring another run on two hits.
The Crusaders (22-30, 9-15 Mid-Con) finish the season in fifth place in the Mid-Continent Conference for the second straight year, one spot out of the conference tournament field.
Game one box score
Game two box score