The Crusaders moved to 2-2 on the young season, defeating Tennessee State 4-2 before falling 7-6 to Yale at the Rebel Spring Games in Orlando, Fla. Monday.
Freshman Stephanie Kelly
(Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield) earned her second win in as many starts in the opener, going 6.1 innings and allowing two unearned runs on only five hits. The left-hander struck out four and walked only one, and has allowed only one earned run in her first 13.1 collegiate innings.
Offensively, the Crusaders got things going early, when leadoff hitter Megan Carroll
(Eaton Rapids, Mich./Eaton Rapids) reached second on an error and stole third, scoring two batters later on a Taylor Callahan
(Pendergrass, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) single. Callahan came around to score later in the inning on a Shannon Robinson
(Toronto, Ontario/John Redmond) sacrifice fly.
With the score 2-1 in the Valpo third inning, Carroll again sparked the Crusader offense, doubling to lead off the frame and scoring on another Callahan RBI single. Beth Adamski
(Saint John, Ind./Lake Central) provided the Crusaders some insurance in the sixth, tripling home Ashley Wolter
(Denver, Iowa/Denver) from first base.
(Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) recorded the final two outs of the game to record the fourth save of her career, tying Laura Pajakowski's 17-year-old school record.
In the day's second game, the Valpo offense put on a show, pounding out 10 hits and scoring six runs, but the defense faltered, committing four errors leading to three unearned Yale runs.
The Bulldogs struck early, scoring a pair of first inning runs off two hits and a Crusader error. But Valpo answered back in the top of the second, tying the game on an Alicia Ashburn
(Mishawaka, Ind./Mishawaka) two-out double.
Yale increased the lead to 5-2 in the third, but again the Brown and Gold came right back. Mallory Gill
(Beloit, Wis./Memorial) provided the two-out blow this time, singling home Robinson to make it 5-3.
Then in the sixth, with the score now 7-3, Callahan tripled to lead off the inning and came around to score on a Robinson single. The next batter, Ann Sievert
(Davenport, Iowa/Assumption), tripled home Robinson to bring Valpo within two. The Crusaders again mounted a rally in the seventh, when with two outs and the bases loaded, Robinson reached on an error scoring Ashburn, but Karen Korb
(Indianapolis, Ind./Lutheran North), running hard from second, was thrown out at the plate to end the game.
Megan Enyeart was the offensive star for Yale, going 3-for-4 with 2 RBI. Rebecca Wojciak pitched 6.2 for the win, while Zappia went the first two innings and suffered the loss.
The Crusaders (2-2) will return to action Tuesday at the Rebel Spring Games, squaring off with South Dakota State at 9:40 a.m. before taking on Holy Cross at 11:30 a.m.
Valpo-Tennessee State box score
Valpo-Yale box score