The Valparaiso University softball team went to extra innings with Southern Illinois Saturday in the nightcap of its MVC doubleheader in Carbondale, but the host Salukis hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the eighth inning as Valpo fell 5-4. SIU earned the sweep on the day, as it won the opener as well, 20-1.
How It Happened – Game One
- Valpo claimed the lead just two batters into the game. Senior Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) led off the game with a single the other way, and freshman Peyton Moeder (Shawnee, Kan./Mill Valley) followed by ripping a run-scoring triple down the left-field line to put Valpo in front.
- SIU took the lead in the bottom of the second with a 10-run frame, and added nine runs in the third and one run in the fourth.
How It Happened – Game Two
- The Salukis scored a single run in each of their first two innings to go ahead 2-0.
- Valpo’s middle infield came up with a slick double play in the bottom of the third to erase an infield single and keep it a 2-0 game. Trepanier gloved a grounder to second and flipped to freshman Taylor Herschbach (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township), who made a nice turn to complete the twin killing.
- Valpo took the lead in the top of the fourth inning, putting a four-spot on the board. Herschbach led off the inning with a double and stole third before junior Hannah Dybalski (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon) drew a walk.
- Junior Morgan Matalin (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) stepped in with two on and nobody out and drove a 2-2 pitch the opposite way over the wall in right-center for a three-run homer, putting Valpo on top.
- Later in the inning, sophomore Brittany Anderson (East Chicago, Ind./Bishop Noll) lined a 1-2 pitch on a rope down the left-field line and over the fence for a solo homer, extending Valpo’s advantage to 4-2.
- Some strong play defensively helped keep it a two-run lead through four complete innings. SIU’s first two batters of the inning reached, putting runners on second and third with nobody out. A groundout with the infield in accounted for the first out, and then the lead runner attempted to score on a grounder to Herschbach at short, but the rookie came home with the throw and fellow freshman Taylor Tonoian (Saugus, Calif./Saugus) applied the tag for the second out.
- Later in the inning, the bases were loaded with two outs when junior Jenna Edwards (Winchester, Ky./George Rogers Clark [Chattanooga State C.C.]) recorded a strikeout looking on a full-count pitch to maintain the two-run lead.
- SIU leveled the game in the bottom of the sixth, taking advantage of back-to-back singles to open the inning. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, and a single through the drawn-in infield tied the score at 4-4.
- Both squads went down 1-2-3 in the seventh inning, moving the game into extra innings. Trepanier walked to lead off the Valpo eighth, but would not advance past second base, and in the bottom of the eighth, SIU’s Megan Brown connected for a walk-off homer on the first pitch she saw.
Inside the Games
- Valpo dropped to 1-2 this season in extra innings with its nightcap loss.
- Moeder and Herschbach both tallied triples in the opener, the first time Valpo has had two triples in a game since March 3 of last season against South Dakota.
- Herschbach led Valpo at the plate on Saturday, going 3-for-6 over the two games, while Trepanier reached three times as well with a pair of hits and a walk.
- Anderson’s homer was her second of the season and the third of her career.
- Matalin went deep for the first time this year. The home run was her second in as many seasons against Southern Illinois, and the fourth overall of her career.
- Herschbach made just her second start of the year at shortstop in the nightcap, as senior Jaymee Lawton (Goodyear, Ariz./Desert Edge [Utah Valley]) left the opener due to injury and did not appear in the second game – the first game she has missed this season.
- Three Valpo pitchers saw action in the opener, with starter Kelsie Packard (Beloit, Wis./Turner [Rock Valley College]) taking the loss. Edwards went the distance in the nightcap, striking out six.
Valpo (9-12, 1-4 MVC) looks to close the series on a high note for a second straight weekend Sunday afternoon as it takes to the field for the series finale against SIU. Start time has been moved back one hour to noon, and all the action can be seen live on ESPN+.