The Crusaders wrapped up their spring trip Saturday at the Rebel Spring Games in Orlando, Fla., falling to Eastern Illinois 2-1 and losing 3-0 to Monmouth (N.J.).
Valpo led 1-0 heading into the seventh inning against the Panthers, picking up a run in the second inning on an Alicia Ashburn
(Mishawaka, Ind./Mishawaka) RBI single. But the Crusader defense let down starter Andrea Zappia
(Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) in the seventh.
After retiring the leadoff batter and watching the first runner of the inning thrown out on the basepaths, Zappia put runners on first and second with a pair of walks. The next batter, Robyn Mackie, singled home the tying run, and the winning run scored when the Kathleen Jacoby reached on a Taylor Callahan
(Pendergrass, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) error at third base.
Zappia suffered her fourth loss of the trip despite allowing only one earned run in seven innings. Over the 14-game swing, the sophomore pitched 12 times, including two starts, and posted an impressive 1.15 ERA. Zappia struck out 38 batters, one shy of her total from last season, in 36.2 innings and allowed only 20 hits.
In the second game of the day, Monmouth got all the offense they would need in the fifth inning, sending seven batters to the plate and scoring three runs on four hits off starter Chris Halstead
(Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) and reliever Stephanie Kelly
The Brown and Gold managed only three hits off two Hawk pitchers, but did draw four walks.
(Eaton Rapids, Mich./Eaton Rapids) had one of the three Valpo hits, and finished the spring trip with a .489 batting average. The junior pounded out five doubles and three triples, good for a .723 slugging percentage, and stole nine bases in nine attempts.
The Crusaders (6-8) will return to action March 22, playing a pair at in-state rival Purdue beginning at 1:00 p.m. All the action can be heard live online at www.sportsjuice.com.
Valpo-Eastern Illinois box score
Valpo-Monmouth box score