Valparaiso finished out its pre-conference schedule Sunday with a 3-2 victory over St. Peter’s at the Maryland Spring Break Classic in College Park, Md.
The Peahens hit the board first in the top of the third inning, getting back-to-back RBI singles with two outs to go ahead 2-0. But the Crusaders responded immediately in the bottom of the frame, as Whitney Warner (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove) knocked a single into center field to drive in Kayla Grutz (Bellevue, Iowa/Bellevue) and Karen Korb (Indianapolis, Ind./Lutheran North) to knot up the game at two.
Korb would use her speed in the fifth inning to put another run on the board for Valpo. After a leadoff walk, the junior stole second base, her Horizon League-leading 13th theft of the season, and moved over to third base on a one-out wild pitch. With two outs, Ashley Wolter (Denver, Iowa/Denver) hit a ground ball to shortstop that the St. Peter’s player mishandled, allowing Korb to score the eventual game-winning tally.
Stephanie Kelly (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield) earned the victory with two innings of scoreless relief, moving to 3-2 on the season. Andrea Zappia (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) received her first save of the year and 15th of her career, retiring all six batters she faced, including three via the strikeout. Amber Phillips took the loss for St. Peter’s (0-11). Freshman Jill Jacobson (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) paced the Crusader attack at the plate with two hits.
“I think we were fortunate to win today’s game,” said Crusader head coach Randy Schneider. “We did just enough to come out on top. Heading into league play, we really need to make a concerted effort to be more focused with our play, especially at the plate.”
Valparaiso (11-6) opens the 2008 home slate at the Valparaiso University Softball Field on Saturday with its inaugural Horizon League game, as the Crusaders face off against Green Bay in a doubleheader beginning at noon CDT.