Two days ago, it was senior Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) delivering the game-winning hit. Friday afternoon, Trepanier was waiting 60 feet away on third base with the potential game-winning run in the MVC series opener against Indiana State as freshman Taylor Herschbach (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) stepped to the plate. After a timeout which allowed Trepanier to talk to Herschbach, the rookie matched Trepanier’s feat from Wednesday, knocking a single through the right side of the drawn-in infield to give Valpo a 7-6 walk-off win.
How It Happened
- Valpo jumped on top in its first turn at bat, scoring a pair of runs in the first inning. Freshman Peyton Moeder (Shawnee, Kan./Mill Valley) singled to lead off the frame and Trepanier walked to put two runners on with nobody out.
- Two batters later, Herschbach laid down a perfect bunt for a single, and when the Indiana State pitcher threw errantly toward the first-base bag, Moeder scored and Trepanier moved up to third. Sophomore Brittany Anderson (East Chicago, Ind./Bishop Noll) followed with a nice squeeze effort to allow Trepanier to cross the plate, making it 2-0 Valpo.
- Two runs in the first was good, but three more runs in the second were even better. Valpo loaded the bases with nobody out on a pair of singles sandwiched around a hit batter, and Trepanier drove in junior Morgan Matalin (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) with the first run of the inning on an RBI base knock.
- Two batters later, following a pitching change by the Sycamores, Herschbach’s grounder scooted between the legs of Indiana State’s shortstop, allowing both freshman Jaina Westphal (Waterford, Wis./Burlington) and Moeder to cross the plate to push the lead to 5-0.
- Meanwhile, junior Jenna Edwards (Winchester, Ky./George Rogers Clark [Chattanooga State C.C.]) was keeping the Sycamores off the board through the first four innings. Indiana State put one runner on in each of the first four frames, and got the runner into scoring position on three occasions, but every time Edwards came up with the big pitch to keep the Sycamores scoreless.
- Indiana State cracked the runs column in the top of the fifth, with the near 20-MPH wind playing a part in the Sycamores’ first tally. Mallory Marsicek led off the inning for ISU with a pop-up to the left side of the infield, but the wind blew it into a vacant area on the right-hand side of the second-base bag in between a trio of Crusaders. Hustling the entire way, it turned into a leadoff double for Marsicek, and she would later come home on a pair of wild pitches.
- A walk, another single and a walk loaded the bases for Indiana State in the sixth and brought the potential tying run to the plate with one out. But Edwards induced a pair of fly balls to the outfield to maintain the four-run lead entering the final inning.
- The Sycamores again threatened in the seventh inning, and this time it turned into a five-run inning for the visitors. A leadoff error led to four of the five runs being unearned, and Marsicek came through with the go-ahead hit, a two-run single with two outs which put Indiana State on top, 6-5.
- All of a sudden, Valpo found itself down by a run against Sycamore relief pitcher Arielle Blankenship, who entered the bottom of the seventh having retired 13 consecutive hitters and who had not surrendered a hit in five innings of work.
- But those last five innings were in the past, and as they did in the seventh inning on Wednesday, the Valpo hitters went to work in the seventh inning on Friday. Moeder led off the inning with a slow infield single which ticked off Blankenship’s glove.
- Trepanier then came up with her second big seventh-inning hit in the three-day span, drilling a 1-0 pitch through the wind the opposite way to the wall in left field for a double, easily enough to bring Moeder around with the tying run.
- With Trepanier already in scoring position and nobody out, sophomore Ashley Barker (Coal Valley, Ill./Moline) had a productive at-bat, hitting a grounder to the right side to move Trepanier up to third base and setting the stage for Herschbach’s heroics. The freshman fell behind in the count 1-2 and fouled off one pitch before coming through with the game-winning hit.
Inside the Game
- Valpo last won consecutive games in walk-off fashion in May of 2012, when the Crusaders actually captured the Horizon League Tournament title on three straight walk-off victories, the last two of which came on walk-off hits from Angie Doerffler.
- Friday marked just Valpo’s second win of the season when giving up more than three runs. The Crusaders are now 2-21 when surrendering at least four runs, as opposed to their 12-1 mark when giving up three or fewer runs.
- Valpo has won two straight games in the series with Indiana State after trailing the all-time series with the Sycamores 11-2 following last season’s regular season series sweep.
- Moeder had the ideal type of day for a leadoff hitter, going 3-for-4 with three singles and coming around to score three runs. Not only were the three hits and three runs scored both season highs for the freshman, they also marked Valpo season bests by an individual in a single game. Moeder has now reached base safely in each of Valpo’s last five games.
- Trepanier reached base three times as well, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored, two RBIs and a walk. She now ranks sixth in program history in total bases and is one run shy of Valpo’s career top-10 in that category.
- Herschbach joined the aforementioned duo with multi-hit games, finishing the day 2-for-4 with the game-winning RBI.
- Edwards registered the win in the circle for Valpo with the complete-game effort, giving up just two earned runs over her seven innings of work. The junior struck out eight and threw a season-high 133 pitches in improving to 6-12 on the year.
Valpo (14-22, 3-14 MVC) closes out the series against the Sycamores with a doubleheader on Saturday at the Valpo Softball Complex. First pitch of game one is slated for noon, and all the action can be heard live on WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso).