Facing the preseason WAC favorites on Tuesday afternoon to close out its time in Phoenix, the Valparaiso University softball team couldn’t overcome a trio of multi-run innings by Grand Canyon, as the Antelopes defeated the Crusaders by final scores of 2-1 and 6-2.
How It Happened – Game One
- Grand Canyon loaded the bases with two outs without a ball leaving the infield in the first, but senior Kenzie Grossmann (Perry, Mo./Mark Twain [Morehead State]) induced a grounder back to the circle to keep the game scoreless.
- The Lopes would break through in the third, despite just one ball leaving the infield. GCU loaded the bases with one out and plated a pair of runs on an infield single and a groundout.
- Valpo sliced the deficit in half in the top of the sixth. Junior Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) led off the frame with a single and moved up to second on a walk. With two outs, freshman Addi Burke (Mesquite, Texas/John Horn) dropped a single into left to score Trepanier and make it a 2-1 game.
- Trepanier nearly extended the game in the top of the seventh inning. Senior Brenna Boyle (St. John,
/Andrean) picked up a pinch-hit single with one out to put the tying run on base, and two batters later, Trepanier drove a ball deep into the left-center gap. But GCU center fielder Laynee Gomez tracked it down with a running over-the-shoulder catch to end the game.
How It Happened – Game Two
- The Crusaders found themselves down early in the nightcap, as a pair of two-out infield singles sparked a four-run bottom of the first for Grand Canyon.
- Junior Jaymee Lawton (Goodyear, Ariz./Desert Edge [Utah Valley]) connected on her fifth home run of the year to lead off the top of the fourth for Valpo.
- The Lopes closed out their scoring in the bottom of the sixth courtesy of a two-run homer from Niki Gonzalez.
- The Crusaders plated their final run in the seventh inning, as sophomore Addison Pixley (Osceola, Ind./Penn) took advantage of a pinch-hit opportunity to deliver a run-scoring single, bringing home senior Stephanie Moreno (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley).
Inside the Games
- Tuesday marked the first time this year Valpo lost a pair of games in the same day.
- Grand Canyon was the preseason WAC favorite and ended last season with an RPI of 73.
- Trepanier picked up two of the Crusaders’ four hits in the opener and added a hit in the nightcap as well as she went 3-for-7 on the day.
- Grossmann took the loss in the first game of the day, falling to 5-2 as she gave up two runs in three-plus innings of work. Sophomore Emily Richardson (Oak Park, Ill./River Forest) entered with two runners in scoring position and nobody out in the fourth and stranded both runners en route to three shutout innings.
- Fifth-year senior Taylor Lawson (Tucson, Ariz./Sahuaro) went 0-for-0 in three plate appearances in the opener, drawing a walk, laying down a sacrifice bunt and being hit by a pitch. She failed to reach base in the nightcap, however, ending her on-base streak at 13 consecutive games.
- Senior Ashlyn Montgomery (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon) started in the circle in the second game and took the loss, falling to 2-4 this year.
- Lawton’s home run, her fifth of the year, moved her into sole possession of the MVC lead in the category. She also leads The Valley in RBIs as well with 22.
Valpo (9-6) continues on its Spring Break trip as it treks to northern California for the Aggie Invitational at UC Davis. The three-day event begins for the Crusaders with a pair of games on Friday, starting with an 11 a.m. CT first pitch against Nevada.