Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Win 11th Straight; Complete Sweep of Detroit
Kelsey Phalen drove in three runs Sunday. (Ray Acevedo)
Kelsey Phalen drove in three runs Sunday. (Ray Acevedo)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Valparaiso concluded a perfect start to Horizon League play this weekend with a 7-1 victory Sunday afternoon over Detroit at the Valparaiso University Softball Field, completing a three-game sweep of the Titans and registering their 11th consecutive victory, an on-going program record.

Unlike Saturday, when the Crusaders scored in their first time at-bat both games, it took a few innings for them to crack the scoreboard on Sunday, as Valpo stranded a pair of runners on base in each of the opening two innings.  The Crusaders finally got on the board in the third, as junior Sara Strickland (Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon) poked a one-out double to the right-center gap. 

Two batters later, junior Jordan Rutkowski (Alden, N.Y./Alden) and senior Sadie Conner (Washington, Ill./Washington) drew back-to-back walks to load the bases with two away.  Junior Kelsey Phalen (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) stepped up, fought back from an 0-2 count to get a full count and then hit a hard grounder back up the middle to score Strickland and Rutkowski for a 2-0 Valpo lead.

The Crusaders then broke the game open in the fourth inning.  Freshman Amanda Wisniewski (Lake in the Hills, Ill./Huntley) led off the inning with a double, and two batters later, fellow rookie Angie Doerffler (Fort Wayne, Ind./Concordia Lutheran) singled and advanced to second on the throw in to third base.  With two runners in scoring position, Strickland swung at the first pitch and lined a single into right, scoring both runners.  A misplay by the Titans' right fielder allowed the ball to get all the way to the fence, and the speedy Strickland scampered all the way home on the play, increasing the lead to 5-0.

First-pitch swings got the job done for the next two Crusader hitters as well.  Senior KC Boldt (Red Wing, Minn./Red Wing) lined a single into left and advanced to second on an error by Detroit's left fielder, while Rutkowski followed with a fly ball into left that fell in for an RBI double, scoring Boldt.  Following a pitching change, Phalen stepped in and delivered her third RBI of the day with a double to left to plate Rutkowski and make it 7-0 Valpo.

While the Crusaders were unable to add to their lead in their final two times at the plate, seven runs was more than plenty on Sunday.  Junior Alex Lagesse (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) couldn't match her perfect game performance of Saturday, but was nearly as good, allowing just one hit in her four shutout innings of work to improve to 6-5 on the year.  Junior Shaleigh Jansen (Ottawa, Ill./Ottawa Township) allowed a run in the fifth inning, but escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam with no further damage and went on to pitch the final three innings, picking up her third save of the year.

Detroit (4-11, 0-3 Horizon) starting pitcher Karyn McCarty took the loss on Sunday, surrendering all seven runs in 3.1 innings of work.  Doerffler, Phalen and Strickland all had multi-hit games as the Crusaders pounded out 10 hits in the series finale, including five doubles.  Rutkowski and Strickland both scored a pair of runs, while Phalen led the way with her three RBIs.

Valparaiso (18-10, 3-0 Horizon) steps out of league play mid-week as the Crusaders travel to take on Northern Illinois in a doubleheader Wednesday afternoon.  First pitch is slated for 3 p.m., with live stats and live chat available at www.valpoathletics.com.

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. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
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
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M 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
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W 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
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Green Bay
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Valpo