The Valparaiso softball team dropped a pair of games to visiting Bowling Green Tuesday afternoon at the Valparaiso University Softball Field by final scores of 6-3 and 5-0.
Bowling Green scored five unanswered runs to open the scoring in the first game of the day, as Katie Yoho hit a three-run homer in the third and Paige Berger and Katie Stratton added RBI singles in the fifth. Valpo closed to within 5-3 in the sixth, however, as freshman Janelle Bouchard (Kennebunk, Maine/Kennebunk) stepped up with the bases loaded and one out and cleared the bases with a three-run double. A two-out walk put the potential tying run on base, but a line-out ended the Crusader threat.
The Falcons added an insurance run in the top of the seventh on a bases-loaded one-out walk, but Valpo prevented any more damage by inducing a pair of pop-outs. The Crusaders had a prime opportunity to extend the game or walk off in the bottom of the seventh, as a single and a pair of errors loaded the bases with one out, but a pop-up and a line-out ended the game.
Freshman Sierra Pico (North Las Vegas, Nev./Legacy) took the loss for the Crusaders, falling to 7-6 on the year after throwing five innings in all and allowing four runs. Paris Imholz improved to 13-4 for Bowling Green, going 5.2 innings in the start, while Jamie Kertes registered the final four outs for her fourth save of the year. Bouchard and fellow rookie Kaitlyn Ranieri (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) both reached base twice in the opener.
Valpo was unable to advance a baserunner past second base in the nightcap, while the Falcons scored the only run they would need in the top of the first on an RBI single from Adrienne Dick. BGSU added a pair of two-run singles in the third for the final tally. The game would eventually be halted due to darkness after the top of the seventh inning.
Junior Ashlyn Michalak (Holland, Ohio/Springfield [Owens C.C.]) fell to 0-2 after starting and going the first 4.2 innings for the Crusaders, while freshman Taylor Weissenhofer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport Township) picked up the final seven outs, six of them via strikeout. Kertes went the distance to improve to 7-7 for Bowling Green (19-12). Ranieri picked up a pair of hits in the nightcap, finishing the day 3-for-6 with a walk.
Valparaiso (20-16) looks to get back on the winning track Saturday with a Horizon League doubleheader at home against UIC starting at 1 p.m. It will be Youth Day at the Valparaiso University Softball Field.