Valpo's lone hit in game one was a big one, a solo homer off the bat of freshman Ashley Wolter
(Denver, Iowa/Denver), and two Crusader pitchers made it hold up in a 1-0 win over IPFW Thursday afternoon in Fort Wayne, Ind. The Mastodons came back to win game two 4-3.
Wolter's shot was her second of the season, tied for second on the team, and came leading off the third inning against Katie Aspegren. The Crusaders had seven baserunners in the game, but Wolter was the only one to reach via a base hit as Aspegren walked five and another Valpo batter reached on an error.
(Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) pitched her fourth scoreless outing in her last five trips to the circle, surrendering only three hits and one walk in five innings and improving to 6-6. Andrea Zappia
(Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) pitched a hitless last two innings for her school-record sixth save. Aspegren (5-12) went the distance for the Mastodons and took the loss.
IPFW broke onto the scoreboard in the first inning of game two, plating a pair of runs off starter Stephanie Kelly
(Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield) when Kayla Vargo launched a two-out homer to left.
The Crusaders struck back to tie the game in the fifth on three straight singles from Ann Sievert
(Davenport, Iowa/Assumption), Karen Korb
(Indianapolis, Ind./Lutheran North) and Courtney LaFerle
(Elgin, Ill./Larkin). Korb came home with the tying run moments later, touching the plate before LaFerle was picked off first base.
But when Zappia entered the game in the sixth inning, Kacie Stone greeted her with a solo home run, putting the Mastodons in front. The next two batters, Jenna Beachy and Vargo, doubled, making the score 4-2.
Valpo mounted a rally in the seventh off starter Jenna Connelly, starting the inning with a Wolter single. Two batters later, Wolter scored on a LaFerle single, but Taylor Callahan
(Pendergrass, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) struck out with LaFerle on second to end the game.
Zappia took the loss, falling to 6-10, while Connelly improved to 4-13 by tossing a complete game for the Mastodons (10-28).
The Crusaders (17-22) return to Mid-Continent Conference play this weekend for a four-game set against Centenary at the Valparaiso University Softball Field. Doubleheader play Friday is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m., with another doubleheader set for Saturday at 12:00 p.m. Friday's games will be carried live on 95.1 FM, WVUR, and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.
Game one box score
Game two box score