It was a
record-setting Senior Day at the Valparaiso University Softball Field Saturday
afternoon as the Crusaders swept Youngstown
State, 8-0 and 4-1, in
Horizon League action. The latter
victory was Valparaiso’s
31st of the season, the most wins in a single season in school
history, while numerous other school records fell during the twinbill.
wins breaks the previous school record set back in 2008, when the Crusaders
went 30-19. Seniors Carrie Franson (Arlington, Wis./Poynette) and Whitney
Warner (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove) now have won 113 games
over their four seasons, the most by a senior class in program history. Both saw action on Saturday, with Franson
registering a pair of outs in the seventh inning of game two. Warner started at designated player in both
games, going 1-for-4 with a pair of successful sacrifice bunts that led to runs
always good when you can win two games on Senior Day, with it being such an
emotional day,” said Crusader head coach Randy
Schneider. “I thought it was a great
day, obviously, with us breaking the wins record, which is a credit to our
kids. I’m especially proud of both our
seniors. Whitney had a nice day, getting
the big hit in the first game to get our offense going and coming up with a
couple nice sacrifices in the second game, showing the lead she is. It was good to see Carrie come into the second
game and get a couple of nice outs for us too.”
addition to the single-season wins record, this year’s Crusader squad set new
single-season marks by ending the day with 261 runs scored, 225 runs batted in
and 618 total bases, all three records previously held by last year’s
team. Also, sophomore Sara Strickland (Phoenix, Ariz./Horizon)
had three hits on the doubleheader to end the day with 59 hits this season,
breaking Shannon Robinson’s record of 58 hits in a single season, set in 2007.
looked like none of the offensive records would fall in the early going
Saturday, as the Crusaders were held off the scoreboard for the first four
innings of the opener. But Alex Lagesse (Beecher, Ill./Beecher)
was keeping the Penguins off the board as well, carrying a no-hitter into the
fifth inning. Valpo finally broke
through in the fifth frame, as Jessie
Marinec (Alsip, Ill./Marist) led off the inning with her
second double of the game. The freshman
advanced to third with two outs and then scored the game’s first run on an
error by the YSU third baseman.
would end via run-rule after the sixth, however, as the Crusaders put a
seven-spot on the scoreboard in the final inning. Warner got the train rolling with a one-out single and Kelsey Phalen (Batavia, Ill./Batavia)
followed with a single of her own.
Marinec brought both runs home with a triple, her third extra-base hit
of the game, and then scored on an RBI single by Joylyn Ichiyama (Torrance, Calif./Redondo Union).
batters later, KC Boldt (Red Wing,
Minn./Red Wing) registered a pinch-hit RBI single to increase the Crusader lead
to 5-0 and tie the single-season records for both runs (254) and RBIs
(219). After a YSU pitching change and a
hit batsman, Jordan Rutkowski (Alden,
N.Y./Alden) ripped a two-RBI single into center field, breaking both team
records and pushing the advantage to 7-0.
Two batters later, first-year pitcher Amanda Bolton (Phoenix, Ariz./Horizon [Arizona]),
stepping to the plate for her first career at-bat, ended the game with a bloop
single behind second base that scored Strickland.
cruised to the victory, throwing six shutout innings while giving up just two
hits and hitting one batter. The shutout
was the sophomore’s fourth of the season and improved her record to 13-9. Danielle Chase started in the circle for the
Penguins and took the loss to fall to 2-4, giving up seven runs in 5.1
innings. Marinec paced the Valpo
offense, which picked up ten hits, with a 3-for-3, two run, two RBI effort.
records continued to fall right away in game two, as Strickland’s leadoff
single in the bottom of the first broke the team single-season mark for total
bases (608) and tied the individual single-season hits record. The Crusaders hit the board for the first
time in the second inning, as Phalen reached on an error as the leadoff batter
and eventually came around to score on an RBI groundout by Jill Jacobson (Beecher,
broke the hits record the next inning with a hard-hit leadoff triple to right field
before scoring on a perfectly educated squeeze bunt by Ichiyama. Youngstown
State (14-33, 6-14
Horizon) got a run back in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Kristen Philen, but
Valpo answered immediately with a run in the bottom half of the frame when
Phalen scored thanks to a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt by
Warner. The Crusaders closed the scoring
in the fifth on a one-out RBI single by Sadie
Conner (Washington, Ill./Washington) to score Ichiyama.
Sam McGee (Bloomington,
pitched a solid game in the circle for the Crusaders, going six innings and
giving up just one run while striking out seven batters to improve to
13-4. Shaleigh Jansen (Ottawa, Ill./Ottawa
Township) earned her eighth save of the year, second-most in the nation,
coming in to retire the final batter with two on. Cheryl Cale fell to 8-16, taking the
complete-game loss for the Penguins.
Marinec and Strickland each tallied two hits in the nightcap, while
Phalen crossed the plate twice.
really hit the ball well for us today, hitting the ball hard and coming up with
five hits,” said Schneider. “I was
really happy to see Alex throw the ball as well as she did today against a
State team, coming off of
a couple tough games this week. Sam
really pitched well for us today as well.”
Valparaiso (31-16, 11-6 Horizon) closes out its home
portion of the 2010 schedule with the series finale tomorrow afternoon against Youngstown State.
First pitch is slated for noon, and all the action can be heard live on
WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso
and online at www.valpoathletics.com,
which will also have a link for live stats.