The Valparaiso softball team will enter the 2009 Horizon League Championships as the sixth seed, the league announced today. The Crusaders will open the tournament against seventh-seeded Green Bay on Thursday, May 7 at 8 a.m. CDT in Pendleton, Ind.
The winner of the tilt between the Crusaders and the Phoenix will go on to face top-seeded UIC Thursday at 3 p.m. CDT, with the winner of that contest earning another bye. The loser of the opening-round game will play the loser of fifth-seeded Butler and eighth-seeded Youngstown State on Friday at 8 a.m.Valparaiso (24-22, 9-11 Horizon) has enjoyed the best offensive season in school history this year, setting new single-season program records for batting average, runs, hits, RBIs, home runs, total bases and stolen bases. The Crusader offense, which boasts six regulars hitting above .300, is led by freshman Sara Strickland (Phoenix, Ariz./Horizon), who is hitting .376 with a program-record 42 runs scored on the year. Senior Karen Korb (Indianapolis, Ind./Lutheran) is hitting .331 with a single-season record 33 steals on the year and set the Crusader career runs scored record two weeks ago, while senior Ashley Wolter (Denver, Iowa/Denver) broke Valpo’s single-season RBI record and career home run record while hitting .340 this year.