The Valparaiso University softball team concluded its spring break trip on Sunday afternoon with its last two games at the Aggie Invitational in Davis, Calif., but the Crusaders were unable to end the journey victorious, as they fell 6-2 to Northern Colorado and 5-1 to host UC Davis.
How It Happened – Northern Colorado
- Valpo claimed the lead in the bottom of the first inning thanks to the wheels on fifth-year senior Taylor Lawson (Tucson, Ariz./Sahuaro). After being hit by a pitch with one out, Lawson stole second on her first pitch on the bases. Two pitches later, she then swiped third and took home on a throwing error by the UNC catcher.
- Northern Colorado evened the game with a solo homer in the second and then claimed the lead for good in the fourth inning. The Bears would score three runs in the frame, two of which came on obstruction calls at home plate against Valpo.
- Junior Jaymee Lawton (Goodyear, Ariz./Desert Edge [Utah Valley]) cut the deficit to two runs as she led off the bottom of the fourth with a solo homer to straight-away center, her sixth of the year.
- But there would not be any further rally from the Crusaders, as they were limited to just one baserunner the rest of the way. A two-run, two-out single in the top of the seventh for Northern Colorado capped the scoring.
How It Happened – UC Davis
- Valpo again scored in its first turn at bat against the Aggies. Lawson singled with one out, beat the throw to second on a Lawton grounder, and then came around to score on a run-scoring single inside the left-field line by sophomore Gabby Magnifico (Elmhurst, Ill./York).
- UC Davis plated three runs in the second and two more in the fourth for the final margin. Valpo would advance two runners into scoring position with one out in the top of the fifth for its best chance to cut into the lead, but was unable to push any other runs across.
Inside the Games
- Valpo was limited to just two hits in each contest on Sunday, a season low for a single contest.
- Magnifico ended up with a hit in each game, while both junior Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) and senior Lanie Callaghan (Elburn, Ill./Kaneland) walked twice apiece in the UC Davis game.
- Junior Kelsie Packard (Beloit, Wis./Turner [Rock Valley College]) was charged with the loss against Northern Colorado, her first of the year, as she gave up two earned runs in three-plus innings of work. Senior Ashlyn Montgomery (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon) took the loss against UC Davis, throwing four-plus innings.
Valpo (12-8) opens up its first season of play in the Missouri Valley Conference next weekend in Terre Haute as the Crusaders face off with Indiana State. The three-game series starts with a doubleheader on Saturday, March 17 at 11 a.m. CT.