Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Enjoy Success During Fall Campaign

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Valparaiso softball team wrapped up its 2008 fall season with an undefeated 6-0 record while also getting the chance to play eight intra-squad scrimmages.

“With the graduation of eight seniors and the fact that 75% of our team is underclassmen, our #1 goal this fall was to get our kids balanced with softball and school,” said Crusader head coach Randy Schneider.  “We felt it was important, with so many underclassmen, to build the players up instead of breaking them down.  This meant a lot of team activities, teaching them how to train properly, getting them comfortable with their academic lives and instructing them on our philosophies.”

The Crusaders won all six of its contests during the fall campaign, combining to outscore its opponents 42-6.  Schneider said, “We chose to play against NAIA teams and then have eight intra-squad scrimmages, instead of facing Division I opposition during the fall season, for a reason.  We are a team that works to manufacture runs, and our best opportunity to learn that with so many new players is to get kids on base and let them make mistakes along with finding success.  Also, our schedule allowed each player to get 40+ at-bats and also see ample time in the field, giving us as a staff the chance to properly evaluate all of our players.”

Valpo had five players hit better than .400 during the fall season, led by senior Ashley Wolter (Denver, Iowa/Denver), who returns after leading the Crusaders with a .324 average and six home runs in 2008.  Sophomore Jill Jacobson (Beecher, Ill./Beecher), who saw action in 26 games last year for Valpo, also hit over .400, while a trio of freshmen: infielder Joylyn Ichiyama-Nipahali (Torrance, Calif./Redondo), catcher Jordan Rutkowski (Alden, N.Y./Alden) and outfielder Sara Strickland (Phoenix, Ariz./Horizon) all surpassed the .400 mark as well.

Freshman Sam McGee (Bloomington, Minn./Bloomington Jefferson) posted the best numbers in the circle, tallying a miniscule 0.73 ERA in 20 innings of work.  Senior Stephanie Kelly (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield),  Valpo’s most experienced returning hurler, registered a 1.33 ERA while striking out 29 batters in 21 innings.  Freshman Alex Lagesse (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) also stood out on the rubber, posting a 1.67 ERA and 16 K’s in 20 innings.

“All in all, we are truly excited about the upcoming season,” said Schneider.  “While we definitely still have to get better, we made great strides during the fall.  Our leadership this year is fantastic and everybody is working extremely hard.  With our strength and speed up and down the lineup, we have the ability to win games, and I truly feel we’ll be competitive with every team in the league in 2009.”

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. 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