The Valparaiso University softball team started the 2019 home campaign at the Valpo Softball Complex on a winning note Wednesday afternoon, earning a 4-1 victory in non-conference action over IUPUI. The day was bookended by home runs from senior Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) and freshman Jaina Westphal (Waterford, Wis./Burlington).
How It Happened
- IUPUI jumped in front on its third batter of the game, as Mandy Dallas connected on a solo homer in the top of the first.
- It would take Valpo just two pitches to even the score in the bottom half of the frame, however. Leading off the Valpo batting order, Trepanier watched a ball go by before drilling the 1-0 pitch over the fence in right-center to make it a 1-1 ballgame.
- Valpo put multiple runners on base in each of the next two innings, getting a pair of singles in the second inning and two base hits and a walk in the third, but was unable to leverage either opportunity to take the lead.
- Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, junior pitcher Kelsie Packard (Beloit, Wis./Turner [Rock Valley College]) navigated a pair of testy situations to keep it a tie game. The Jaguars put runners on second and third with two outs in the third, and then got a player to third base with two outs in the fifth as well. But both times, Packard induced grounders to middle infielders for the third out.
- Valpo went ahead for good in the bottom of the fifth. Once again, it was Trepanier getting things started, drawing a four-pitch walk to lead off the inning. Later in the inning, with two outs, Trepanier moved up to second on a wild pitch during the at-bat of senior Jaymee Lawton (Goodyear, Ariz./Desert Edge [Utah Valley]), who would eventually walk. Junior Morgan Matalin (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) then went to a full count during her at-bat before knocking the 3-2 pitch into shallow center field for an RBI single, as Trepanier came around to put Valpo ahead, 2-1.
- The Crusaders put some insurance on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore Brittany Anderson (East Chicago, Ind./Bishop Noll) led off the inning with a walk, and two batters later, Westphal drove an 0-1 pitch over the fence in left field to push the Valpo advantage to 4-1.
- Junior Jenna Edwards (Winchester, Ky./George Rogers Clark [Chattanooga State C.C.]) shut down the Jaguars offense over the final two innings after Valpo took the lead. An infield single to lead off the seventh was the only blemish on Edwards’ final line as she closed out the victory.
Inside the Game
- Wednesday’s game was Valpo’s second attempt at a home opener, as its scheduled doubleheader last Wednesday was canceled. Valpo has now won its home opener in each of the last four seasons.
- Valpo improved to a perfect 10-0 on the season when surrendering three or fewer runs.
- Packard picked up her eighth win of the year with five innings of two-hit ball, striking out five. With over a month left in the regular season, the junior has already matched her win total from last season.
- Edwards registered her first save in a Valpo uniform as she tossed the final two innings.
- Trepanier continued her strong play at the Valpo Softball Complex with a 2-for-3, two-run, one-walk performance, highlighted by the first-inning homer – the eighth round-tripper of her career. Trepanier led Valpo in batting average at home in each of her first three seasons, and was a .408 hitter on the Crusaders’ home field last season.
- Trepanier now owns 179 career hits, eighth-most in program history and just two shy of seventh position and three away from sixth. On Wednesday, she also cracked Valpo’s career top-ten chart in total bases with her home run, as her 250 career total bases are 10th-most in program history.
- Trepanier’s first-inning homer was her third of the season, and Westphal made sure to keep pace with her senior teammate with her sixth-inning homer, as that was the rookie’s third of the year.
- Anderson reached base twice in the win with a single and a walk, while Lawton drew a pair of walks to reach twice as well.
Valpo (10-13) returns to Missouri Valley Conference play to take on Missouri State this weekend in the conference home opener. The series has been adjusted due to forecasted weather issues, and now consists of a Sunday single game at 2 p.m. and a Monday doubleheader at 11 a.m.