Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Drop Two to Open Mid-Con Play

Friday, March 24, 2006

Valpo returned to action for the first time in nearly two weeks Friday afternoon at Southern Utah, and dropped 13-6 and 6-4 decisions to the Thunderbirds in Cedar City, Utah.

The Crusaders opened the first game strong, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first inning, getting RBIs from Courtney LaFerle (Elgin, Ill./Larkin) and Ann Sievert (Davenport, Iowa/Assumption). But Southern Utah's big bats answered right back in the bottom of the inning, getting three home runs and plating four to take a 4-2 lead.

The score was 5-2 SUU in the top of the third when the Crusaders found another offensive surge. Shannon Robinson (Toronto, Ontario/John Redmond) doubled home a run with one out before Alicia Ashburn (Mishawaka, Ind./Mishawaka) plated three on one swing, belting her second home run of the young season to make it 6-5 Valpo.

Unfortunately for the Crusaders, however, they were done scoring, and the Thunderbirds were just getting started. Southern Utah took the lead with another four-spot in the bottom of the fourth and put the game away with four more in the sixth.

The Thunderbirds blasted six home runs in the game, including two from Marci Pratt, and banged out 15 hits off three Crusader pitchers. Stephanie Kelly (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield) allowed eight runs and was saddled with the loss, while Amy Sauer went the distance for the win.

The Brown and Gold again opened an early lead in the second game, when Robinson drove in Megan Carroll (Eaton Rapids, Mich./Eaton Rapids) in the opening frame. Sievert extended the Valpo lead in the third, driving Robinson home with a two-out single.

After Southern Utah tied the game in the fourth, Valpo pushed the lead to 4-2 in the fifth when a bases-loaded single from Robinson plated Karen Korb (Indianapolis, Ind./Lutheran North) and Taylor Callahan (Pendergrass, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian).

The Crusaders led 4-3 after the top of the sixth, but could not hold the lead, surrendering three sixth inning runs after committing a pair of errors in the inning.

Andrea Zappia (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) took the loss for Valpo, while Ashley Christiansen earned the victory in relief. Robinson went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs in the game, moving her season batting average to .440 with a team-leading 12 RBI.

Valpo (6-10, 0-2 Mid-Con) will get another shot at the Thunderbirds (4-23, 2-0 Mid-Con) Saturday afternoon, with a doubleheader set to begin at 1:00 p.m. The Crusaders open their home season Tuesday against Central Michigan, with a pair of games slated for 2:00 p.m.

Game one box score
Game two box score
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay