The Valparaiso University softball team opened its home season on Wednesday afternoon at the Valpo Softball Complex on a winning note, carrying over its offensive prowess from the weekend as the Crusaders scored the first seven runs of the game en route to a 7-3 victory over IUPUI.
How It Happened
- Valpo struck immediately in the bottom of the first inning. Sophomore Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored on a double to the fence in right-center from senior Sam Stewart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East).
- Stewart scored later in that frame on a two-out RBI single from sophomore Jaymee Lawton (Goodyear, Ariz./Desert Edge [Utah Valley]) to give the Crusaders a 2-0 lead through one inning.
- Lawton got Valpo going in the fourth inning as well, leading off the inning with a single back up the middle. Later in the inning, back-to-back infield singles – the second coming from freshman Gabby Magnifico (Elmhurst, Ill./York) – brought Lawton home to push the lead to 3-0.
- The Crusaders put a crooked number on the scoreboard in the fifth inning, courtesy of a seemingly never-ending string of doubles. Trepanier led off with a double to the gap in right-center and scored two batters later on Stewart’s second two-bagger of the game.
- Junior Jenna Stauffenberg (Kankakee, Ill./Bishop McNamara) lined a first-pitch single the other way to score Stewart and moved up to second on an IUPUI error. Lawton then dropped a double deep down the left-field line to plate Stauffenberg.
- Two batters later, junior Lanie Callaghan (Elburn, Ill./Kaneland) hit a fly ball high into a stiff breeze which hung up and then landed harmlessly in the left-field grass for a run-scoring double to push the lead to 7-0.
- IUPUI scored its first run with two outs in the sixth and added a pair of runs in the seventh, but Crusader pitcher Kenzie Grossmann (Perry, Mo./Mark Twain [Morehead State]) induced a flyout with a runner on to close out the win.
Inside the Game
- Valpo tallied 12 hits as a team in the victory over the Jaguars, its third straight game with at least 10 hits and seventh such game of the season.
- The Crusaders ended the game 8-for-16 at the plate with runners in scoring position, matching their highest hit total of the year with RISP in a single game.
- Lawton led the 12-hit attack on Wednesday for the Crusaders, going a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored and two RBIs. The sophomore has posted her first two multi-hit games in a Valpo uniform in the Crusaders’ last two wins, and has driven in nine runs over the last three games.
- Freshman Addison Pixley (Osceola, Ind./Penn), who made her Crusader debut last weekend as a pinch-runner, earned her first career start Wednesday and took full advantage, going 2-for-3.
- Stewart also picked up two hits while scoring two runs and driving in a pair. The senior extended her on-base streak to 23 consecutive games with her first-inning double.
- Trepanier joined Lawton and Stewart with a pair of runs scored, crossing the plate twice for the third consecutive game.
- Grossmann was solid in the circle, going the distance to improve to 8-5 on the year. The junior scattered eight hits and walked just one IUPUI batter while recording 14 groundouts.
Thoughts From Head Coach Kate Stake
“I felt like Kenzie really did a good job maintaining control of the game today. She fed the defense behind her to get 14 groundouts, and also fielded her position well.”
“I was happy to see Addi be able to step right in and play well today. She’s really practiced well recently, and it carried over into the game today. Not only with her production at the plate, but her play in right field – she made a couple nice defensive plays.”
“We got good production today up and down our batting order. We always preach to our hitters to move the line, and we really did that well today. It was really nice in the middle of the game to score in back-to-back innings and keep the momentum on our side.”
The Crusaders (15-8) will host Youngstown State in a three-game Horizon League series this weekend at the Valpo Softball Complex. Saturday's doubleheader will now start at 1 p.m., with the series finale slated for noon on Sunday. Links for live video and live stats will be available via ValpoAthletics.com.