Junior Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) knocked the ball all over the field in a 4-for-4 day at the plate on Sunday in the series finale between the Valparaiso University softball team and Evansville, but the Crusaders’ seventh-inning comeback attempt came up just short as they fell by a 3-2 final.
How It Happened
- Facing a pitcher who had two-hit them the day before in Morgan Florey, the Crusaders matched that hit total in the first inning. Trepanier slapped a one-out single through the 5-6 hole, and freshman Addi Burke (Mesquite, Texas/John Horn) followed with a bunt single. The duo moved up 60 feet apiece on a sacrifice bunt, but were left in scoring position to end the first.
- After going the other way in her first at-bat, Trepanier turned on the first pitch she saw with two outs in the third for a triple down the right-field line. It looked like Burke might have a chance to drive her in, hitting a short fly ball into very shallow left with the infield pulled in, but the Purple Aces’ left fielder made a charging catch to keep the game scoreless.
- Crusader pitcher Kenzie Grossmann (Perry, Mo./Mark Twain [Morehead State]) made it through the first three innings unscathed, not allowing a ball out of the infield, but the fourth would not go as well. Evansville loaded the bases on an error, a single and a hit batter with one out, and then proceeded to tally three consecutive run-scoring singles.
- With the deficit 3-0 and the bases still loaded with just one out, junior Kelsie Packard (Beloit, Wis./Turner [Rock Valley College]) was called upon out of the bullpen and came up with a huge pair of strikeouts to keep it a three-run game.
- Valpo had a prime opportunity to cut into the lead in its half of the fourth, as a leadoff double from Brittany Anderson (East Chicago, Ind./Bishop Noll) led to the Crusaders loading the bases with nobody out. But the next three Valpo batters would strike out in order, as Florey kept Valpo off the board.
- Again in the fifth, the Crusaders were presented with a strong scoring chance. Trepanier roped a one-out single back through the box, and Burke reached on an off-target attempt by Evansville to erase the lead runner, making it runners on second and third with just one out. Again, however, strikeouts would keep the Crusaders from cracking the scoreboard.
- Valpo finally broke through in its final turn at the plate. Senior Jasmine Ramirez (Litchfield Park, Ariz./Millennium) pinch-hit to open the inning and wasted no time, swinging at the first pitch and lining a single into shallow left-center. Fifth-year senior Taylor Lawson (Tucson, Ariz./Sahuaro) proceeded to lay down a perfectly-placed bunt for a single to bring the potential tying run to the plate.
- Already sitting on a three-hit day, Trepanier wasn’t satisfied, driving the first pitch she saw to the wall in center for an RBI double, putting runners on second and third with nobody out in a 3-1 game. Burke jumped at the first pitch as well and got all of it, but it would go down as a line-out, as Evansville’s shortstop snagged it out of the air.
- Anderson kept the first pitch train rolling, lining the first offering she faced to straightaway center for a sacrifice fly, making it a one-run game. But with the potential tying run sitting out at second base, a strikeout closed out the game.
Inside the Game
- Trepanier’s four-hit game was the second of this season by a Crusader, joining Lawson, who pounded out a quartet of base hits on March 4 of this season against Princeton.
- It was the second four-hit game of Trepanier’s career, her first coming in a win at Wright State on May 7, 2016 – a victory which secured Valpo’s berth in that year’s Horizon League Championship field, which the Crusaders would go on to win.
- Trepanier is the first Crusader to tally a single, a double and a triple in the same game since Jessie Marinec did so in a victory at Bowling Green on April 4, 2012.
- After registering just two base hits off of Florey on Saturday, the Crusaders – buoyed by Trepanier’s performance at the plate – finished with eight hits on Sunday. But the base hits weren’t there in scoring chances, as Valpo went just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Valpo left nine runners in all on base, eight of which were in scoring position.
- Anderson had three productive outcomes in her four plate appearances, as she went 1-for-2 with the sacrifice fly and a sac bunt.
- Grossmann took the loss in the start, falling to 11-10 on the year as she threw the first 3.1 innings Sunday. Packard had a stellar relief outing, throwing 3.2 innings of no-hit ball while striking out five. The junior has now struck out 40 hitters against just 12 walks in 34 innings of work in MVC play this season.
Valpo (18-21, 5-12 MVC) faces another key day of MVC action on Tuesday as the Crusaders make the short trip to Rogers Park to face Loyola.