Valparaiso saw its 2010 season come to an end Saturday
morning, as Wright State defeated the Crusaders, 4-0, at the Horizon
League Softball Championship in Cleveland,
Ohio. Valpo concludes the year with a school-record
The Crusaders’ best
scoring chance of the game came in the opening inning, as Sara Strickland (Phoenix,
Ariz./Horizon) reached on a
leadoff walk. The sophomore then stole
second and advanced to third on a wild pitch with one out, but a pair of strikeouts
ended the scoring chance. Wright
State posted a run in its
half of the first on a two-out single by Justine Shilt, scoring Kristen
Bradshaw from third.
Valpo put together another
threat in the top of the sixth when Joylyn
Ichiyama (Torrance, Calif./Redondo
Union) and Sadie Conner (Washington, Ill./Washington)
tallied back-to-back two-out singles, but a popup kept the Crusaders off the
board. WSU secured its victory in the
bottom of the frame on a three-run double by Jamie Perkins.
“Our last inning, we had
freshmen as each of our final three hitters, and that to me was kind of like
karma with our young team, finishing up with three freshmen,” said Crusader
head coach Randy Schneider. “We still believed, even with young players
up in the seventh, that we had a chance to pick up some runs and maybe come
back. But obviously we didn’t, and I
just think Wright State and Cleveland
State are at this point
better softball teams than we are.”
Alex Lagesse (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) took the loss for Valpo,
pitching her fourth complete game of the tournament. Lagesse fell to 15-12 on the year despite
giving up just five hits in six innings.
Melanie Heyne improved to 12-12 with the complete-game shutout for Wright State
“Overall, it was a good
tournament for us,” said Schneider. “We
played some great defense, and obviously Alex pitched one heck of a tournament,
just an incredible performance by her.
Hopefully it will give her enough confidence heading into next season to
contend for Pitcher of the Year in the league.
It was a fun season, 35 wins is a good year.”
Valparaiso (35-21) set new single-season school records for
games played, putouts and tied the record for pitching strikeouts against the
Raiders. Those records were in addition
to team single-season marks for wins, slugging percentage, hits, at bats, runs
scored, total bases, RBIs, doubles, home runs, and saves.
On the individual
side, Strickland set new single-season marks for hits (69), at-bats (175) and
total bases (102), while Shaleigh Jansen
(Ottawa, Ill./Ottawa Township) set the saves record
(8), Conner the assists record (157) and Kelsey
Phalen (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) the putouts record (411). Seniors Carrie
Franson (Arlington, Wis./Poynette)
and Whitney Warner (Greenwood, Ind./Center
Grove) close their careers as the winningest class in Crusader softball history
with 117 wins over their four years.