For the second straight Saturday, the Valparaiso University softball team rebounded after a loss to earn a doubleheader split in league play, as the Crusaders fell in the opener to Youngstown State, 6-1, before earning a 4-1 win in the nightcap at the Valpo Softball Complex.
How It Happened – Game One
- Both teams left runners on third base in the first inning before cracking the scoreboard in the second inning.
- YSU scored one run in the top of the second, but was kept from scoring further by some nice defensive work from shortstop Jaymee Lawton (Goodyear, Ariz./Desert Edge [Utah Valley]). With runners on the corners and nobody out, Lawton started a 6-4-3 double play with a sweet glove flip to Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno).
- Then, with a runner on first and two outs, Lawton fielded a slow roller to short, feinted the throw to first and then tossed to Trepanier, who applied the tag to the runner who had rounded the second-base bag.
- Lawton was also involved offensively in the second inning as well, drawing a leadoff walk to open the frame before eventually scoring on a grounder off the bat of freshman Addison Pixley (Osceola, Ind./Penn).
- That would be all the run production for the Crusaders in the opener, however. Valpo put at least one runner on in four of the last five innings, but stranded six on base over that stretch.
- YSU took the lead with a pair of runs in the fourth inning, added two more on a Tatum Christy home run in the sixth and capped the scoring with a single run in the seventh.
How It Happened – Game Two
- YSU needed just three batters to score in the top of the first, taking the early lead on an RBI double from Brittney Moffatt. But junior Kenzie Grossmann (Perry, Mo./Mark Twain [Morehead State]) recorded back-to-back strikeouts to keep Moffatt on second and limit the Penguins to one run.
- The run which scored in the first was the only runner to even reach third base against Grossmann all game, as the junior kept the Penguins off balance throughout.
- Valpo claimed the lead in the bottom of the third. Freshman Gabby Magnifico (Elmhurst, Ill./York) turned the lineup over with an infield single, and Trepanier drew a walk to put two on with nobody out.
- After fouling off a sacrifice attempt, senior Jorgi Calombaris (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) was given the hit away sign and took full advantage, knocking a base hit just inside the left-field line to score Magnifico. Two batters later, the Crusaders executed a squeeze to perfection, as junior Jenna Stauffenberg (Kankakee, Ill./Bishop McNamara) laid down the bunt and Calombaris easily beat the throw home to make it 2-1 Valpo.
- Junior Lanie Callaghan (Elburn, Ill./Kaneland) kept the momentum on the Crusaders’ side in the bottom of the fourth, leading off the frame with a homer to straight-away center. Freshman Morgan Matalin (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) followed with a double to the gap and eventually came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Calombaris.
Inside the Games
- Senior Sam Stewart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) drew a walk in both games on Saturday to extend her on-base streak to 25 straight games and set a new program record. Stewart broke the mark previously held by Sara Strickland, who reached base in 24 consecutive games during the 2011 campaign.
- Trepanier accounted for half of the Crusaders’ hits in the opener, picking up three of Valpo’s six base knocks. The sophomore now has a team-best 12 multi-hit games on the season, including five three-hit efforts.
- Junior Ashlyn Montgomery (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon) took the loss in the start in the day’s first game, falling to 5-4 on the year.
- The bottom of the order stood out in the Crusaders’ nightcap victory, combining to go 4-for-7 with three runs scored. Callaghan picked up a pair of hits out of the seven spot in the lineup.
- Trepanier also reached base three times in the nightcap, picking up one base hit and walking twice.
- Grossmann went the distance to earn the win in the second game of the day, scattering four hits and one walk while striking out four. She rolled up 15 groundball outs, including six straight back to the circle and five to Calombaris at third base.
- Valpo’s win over YSU in the nightcap snapped the Penguins’ nine-game winning streak.
Thoughts From Head Coach Kate Stake
“We talked after the first game about the need for timely hitting – we hit OK that first game, but didn’t string anything together. In the second game, we did a better job of putting together good at-bats to get runners into scoring position, which gave us the opportunity to put on plays like the suicide squeeze in the third inning.”
“It was great to see Lanie continue to make adjustments in her at-bats and put together a very good day offensively. We’ve worked with her over the last couple weeks on some things, and it’s starting to pay off visibly in better outcomes.”
“It was nice to see Kenzie come out and give us a complete game for the second straight start today, especially slamming the door on the game the way she did with a 1-2-3 seventh inning. Once again, she played to her strengths, came out and fed the defense a lot of ground balls. I thought Jorgi gave us a very good game defensively at third base as well in the second game.”
The Crusaders (16-9, 3-2 Horizon) look for their second straight league series win on Sunday, as they host the series finale at noon. The game can be seen live on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app, and heard live on WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso). Links for the live video, audio and stats will be available via ValpoAthletics.com.