Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Softball Clinches Outright Regular Season Crown
Sara Strickland connected on her first homer of the season Friday. (Rick Scuteri)
Sara Strickland connected on her first homer of the season Friday. (Rick Scuteri)
Valparaiso (35-16, 17-5 Horizon)
at
Cleveland State (17-37, 9-13 Horizon)
5/4/2012 | Cleveland, Ohio | Attendance: 67
1234567RHE
Valparaiso00204107121
Cleveland State0000000051
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: LAGESSE (17-8) 7.050004
Loss: BASHAK (4-17) 5.0106201
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
DOERFFLER (VALPO) 423000
TOMAN (CSU) 301000
NAGY (CSU) 301000
SHIELDS (CSU) 301000
YOE (CSU) 301000
KAUFFMAN (CSU) 301000

Friday, May 04, 2012

The Valparaiso softball program earned the outright Horizon League regular season championship on Friday evening, thanks to a 7-0 victory at Cleveland State.  The outright title means that Valpo also earns hosting rights for the 2012 Horizon League Championship next Wednesday-Saturday at the Valparaiso University Softball Field, with the tournament champion earning the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.  The victory on Friday also marked the 35th of the 2012 season for the Crusaders, matching the program’s single-season wins record.

“It’s really great for our program – great for our players to see all of their work pay off,” said Crusader head coach Jordan Stevens on the championship.  “It’s also good for our athletic department and for our university, to continue to get recognition for our school and continue the success by our teams this year.  It was something that our team wanted, especially after coming so close last year, but more importantly it just shows our consistent play throughout the year.  Our players have really taken a consistent approach on a day-in, day-out basis this year, and this really epitomizes our high-five work.”

The Crusaders got a complete-game shutout in the circle from senior Alex Lagesse (Beecher, Ill./Beecher), her third consecutive shutout as the regular season comes down the stretch.  Lagesse scattered five Cleveland State hits and didn’t walk a batter in improving to 17-8 on the season.  The senior struck out four CSU batters and didn’t allow a Viking baserunner past second base.

Offensively, Valpo got the only run it would need with one out in the third, as senior Sara Strickland (Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon) drove a 1-0 pitch deep down the right-field line for a solo homer, her first round-tripper of the year.  The Crusaders added another run later in the frame as sophomore Angie Doerffler (Fort Wayne, Ind./Concordia Lutheran) knocked a single back up the middle and eventually scored on a single into the 5-6 hole by freshman Brittany Duncan (Fairborn, Ohio/Fairborn).

The Crusaders then added four insurance runs in the top of the fifth to break the game open.  Doerffler picked up her third hit of the game with a double to the wall in center and scored two batters later when she slid in ahead of the tag at the plate on an infield grounder.  Later in the inning, senior Joylyn Ichiyama-Drewry (Torrance, Calif./Redondo Union) sent a fly into shallow right field just out of the grasp of the CSU fielders, and a ricochet off a fielder’s glove sent the ball down the line for a 2-RBI triple, as both Duncan and redshirt sophomore Jessie Marinec (Alsip, Ill./Marist) crossed the plate.

An infield single by senior Kelsey Phalen (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) brought home Ichiyama-Drewry to cap the four-run frame and push the Crusader advantage to 6-0.  Valpo closed the scoring in the top of the sixth when Strickland led off the frame with a first-pitch double down the left-field line and came home with two outs on an RBI single by Duncan.

Megan Bashak took the loss for Cleveland State (17-37, 9-13 Horizon), giving up six runs in five innings of work to fall to 4-17.  Doerffler had three hits and scored two runs to pace the 12-hit Valpo offensive attack, while Duncan, Strickland and senior Jordan Rutkowski (Alden, N.Y./Alden) each had two hits apiece.

“I did think we swung the bat better today,” said Stevens.  “We didn’t give away a lot of outs, which was nice.  Even our outs were good at-bats and quality hit balls, which was a good thing to see from our offense.”

Valparaiso (35-16, 17-5 Horizon) closes out the regular season with a doubleheader tomorrow against the Vikings, beginning at 11 a.m. CDT.  Live stats, live video and live chats for both games will be available through www.valpoathletics.com.

Live Chat Archive:

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