Fresh off of a record-setting regular season, the Valparaiso softball team heads into this weekend’s 2008 Horizon League Championship as the second seed. The tournament will be contested in Chicago, Ill. at Loyola Softball Park, starting on Thursday, May 8.
The Crusaders enter the tournament with a 30-17 overall record, the first 30-win season in school history, and finished the Horizon League slate at 12-5, just 1.5 games back of regular season champion Cleveland State. Valpo earned one of the three first-round byes by virtue of finishing second, and will open tournament play versus the winner of the UIC-Youngstown State first-round matchup at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
Valpo has already set single-season records for RBIs, stolen bases, saves, strikeouts and fielding percentage in addition to breaking the previous program best for wins this year. The Crusaders are led offensively by junior outfielder Ashley Wolter (Denver, Iowa/Denver) and senior catcher Shannon Robinson (Toronto, Ontario/John Redmond), both of whom are hitting over .300 on the season. Valpo is anchored in the circle by senior twirler Andrea Zappia (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central), who carries a 19-8 record and a 2.04 ERA into the tournament.