The Valparaiso University softball team earned its first win from behind this season on Saturday, scoring four unanswered runs to defeat Tennessee State, 4-2, in action from the Leon Smith Classic in Oxford, Ala.
How It Happened
- A bases-loaded single with two outs plated two runs for Tennessee State in the top of the second to open the scoring. Freshman Lindsay Zdroik (Elgin, Ill./St. Edward) limited the damage, getting a flyout with two runners in scoring position to keep it a two-run game.
- The Crusaders erased the deficit immediately in their half of the second, however. Junior Brenna Boyle (St. John, Ind./Andrean) drew a one-out walk, and two batters later, fellow junior Lanie Callaghan (Elburn, Ill./Kaneland) delivered a two-run homer to left-center to tie the game at 2-2.
- Valpo took the lead for good in the third. Sophomore Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) led off the inning with a double, moved up to third on a wild pitch and came home on a sacrifice fly from senior Sam Stewart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East).
- It looked like Tennessee State might tie the game or re-gain the lead in the top of the fourth. The Tigers put two on with one out, and after junior Mackenzie Grossmann (Perry, Mo./Mark Twain [Morehead State]) entered the circle, an infield single loaded the bases. But Grossmann recorded a key strikeout and then induced a grounder back to the circle to keep the lead on the Valpo side of the scoreboard.
- Aided by a pair of TSU errors, the Crusaders added an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth. Boyle reached to lead off the frame on an error and eventually came around to score on another miscue to make it 4-2 Valpo.
- The Tigers never again got the potential tying run to the plate, as Grossmann set down the side in order in each of the last three innings.
Inside the Game
- Valpo had not trailed in any of its first seven wins of the season.
- The Crusaders’ 8-4 start to the year is their best record through 12 games since 2012.
- Zdroik made the first appearance of her career on Saturday, earning the start in the circle. She went 3.1 innings, allowing a pair of runs while striking out three.
- The only blemish on Grossmann’s line was the infield single she relinquished to the first batter she faced, as the junior tossed 3.2 nearly perfect innings to earn the win and improve to 4-3 on the season. Five strikeouts and six groundouts accounted for Grossmann’s 11 outs.
- Stewart was a perfect 1-for-1 at the plate, as she walked and delivered a sacrifice fly in her first two plate appearances before singling in her final at-bat.
- Trepanier finished 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored, snapping her streak of consecutive multi-hit games at seven.
- Callaghan’s home run was her first of the season and fifth of her career.
- Boyle started at first base for the first time this year and scored a pair of runs – the first time in her career she’s scored multiple runs in the same game.
The Crusaders (8-4) close out action from Oxford with two more games on Sunday. Valpo will take on Eastern Illinois at 10:30 a.m. before facing Alabama State at 1 p.m.