The Valparaiso softball team opened up action at the Springhill Suites Invitational in Boise, Idaho on Friday afternoon, falling to Weber State 3-0.
“We couldn’t muster anything offensively today, and when we did have chances to score, we couldn’t put good swings on the ball,” said Crusader head coach Jordan Stevens. “We pitched very well, well enough to get the win. Some bad decisions defensively cost us today as well. We need to get to a mindset in which we know we’re a good club, even though we’re not showing that right now – we know we have the ability to do better.”
While the Crusaders had just two hits on Friday, they placed runners on base in five of the seven innings. Valpo’s best threat came in the bottom of the fourth inning, when a one-out walk and hit by pitch were followed by a Janelle Bouchard (Kennebunk, Maine/Kennebunk) single to load the bases with just one away. But an infield fly and a strikeout ended that scoring chance. The Crusaders also placed runners in scoring position in the fifth and sixth innings, but were unsuccessful in pushing anything across the plate.
Weber State scored the only runs it would need in the top of the second, taking advantage of runners on second and third with one out, scoring both on a fielder’s choice sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly. The Wildcats added an insurance tally in the fourth frame, as an unearned run came across on a groundout.
Fifth-year senior Jessie Marinec (Alsip, Ill./Marist) joined Bouchard with a base hit for the Crusaders on Friday, while sophomore Kaitlyn Ranieri (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) drew a pair of walks as well. Sophomore Sierra Pico (Las Vegas, Nev./Legacy) took the loss in the circle for Valpo despite giving up just three hits and two earned runs, falling to 1-6 on the year, while MaCauley Flint improved to 6-1 with the complete-game win for Weber State (10-5).
Valparaiso (3-11) continues tournament play on Saturday with a pair of games, taking on Weber State at 11 a.m. and the host Broncos at 3 p.m. Both games will have live stats available through ValpoAthletics.com.