This time, the heroics came in the sixth inning rather than the seventh, but that was about the only difference in yet another late-game come-from-behind win for Valpo Softball, as senior Jaymee Lawton (Goodyear, Ariz./Desert Edge [Utah Valley]) delivered her second three-run double of the game in the sixth inning of Saturday’s doubleheader opener against Indiana State to give Valpo a 7-5 win and secure the series victory. The Sycamores scored six runs in the first inning of the nightcap on their way to a 9-1 win in the finale.
How It Happened – Game One
- Indiana State jumped on top in the opening inning, using three hits, a walk and a Valpo error to score three runs in the top of the first. Valpo loaded the bases with two outs in its first turn at the plate, but was unable to cut into the deficit.
- The Sycamores added two more runs on a two-run single from Shaye Barton in the second inning to push their lead to 5-0.
- The bottom of the third saw Valpo trim the deficit to two runs. For the second time in the game, Lawton came to the plate with the bases loaded, as sophomore Brittany Anderson (East Chicago, Ind./Bishop Noll) walked and sophomore Ashley Barker (Coal Valley, Ill./Moline) singled with two outs to keep the inning alive and keep the line moving. Lawton stepped up and drove the first pitch she saw to the fence in right-center, clearing the bases with a three-run double to make it a 5-3 game.
- Valpo had opportunities to pull even closer or even tie the game in the next two innings, getting runners to second and third with one out in the fourth and then a runner to third with one out in the fifth. But both times, the Sycamores kept the Brown and Gold off the board.
- Meanwhile, freshman Taylor Knight (Omaha, Neb./Elkhorn South) settled in after the first two innings to put up four consecutive scoreless innings. Knight faced the minimum in both the third and fourth frames, and then pitched around a first and second, one-out situation in the fifth.
- The Sycamores’ best chance at adding to their lead came in the sixth inning, as Becky Malchow singled with two outs and stole second. Leslie Sims sent a grounder up the middle for a single, but senior Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) was able to range well to her right, on the other side of the second-base bag, to keep the ball on the infield. When ISU aggressively sent Malchow home, Trepanier’s throw was right on the mark and junior Hannah Dybalski (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon) applied the tag to keep it a two-run game.
- Then came the bottom of the sixth. Junior Morgan Matalin (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) got it started with a bang, driving a 2-2 offering to the wall in right field. Freshman Peyton Moeder (Shawnee, Kan./Mill Valley) then lined a pitch into shallow center for a run-scoring single, cutting the ISU lead to 5-4.
- Two batters later, freshman Taylor Herschbach (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) delivered a single to put two runners on, and Anderson then drew another free pass to load the bases with just one out.
- Indiana State went to the bullpen, and Gabbi Schnaiter got the second out of the inning on her first pitch in relief. That brought Lawton to the plate with the bases loaded, and after falling behind 1-2, the senior fouled off three consecutive pitches before drilling the seventh pitch of the at-bat to straightaway center for her second bases-clearing double of the game, giving Valpo a 7-5 lead.
- With the two-run advantage, Valpo called upon junior Jenna Edwards (Winchester, Ky./George Rogers Clark [Chattanooga State C.C.]) out of the bullpen to close out the victory. Edwards hit the first batter she faced with her first pitch, but set down the next three hitters in order to complete the win.
How It Happened – Game Two
- Indiana State scored six runs on just three hits in the series finale, the big blow a grand slam off the bat of Annie Tokarek.
- Trepanier drove in Matalin with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the third to cut the Sycamore lead to 6-1. But only one other Valpo runner would advance past second base in the loss.
- Indiana State added one run in the fifth and two in the seventh to complete the scoring.
Inside the Games
- Lawton’s six RBIs in the opener were a career best, surpassing her previous mark of four, and a Valpo season high. It is just the 10th time in program history that a single player has driven in six or more runs in a single game, and the first such occurrence since Jenna Stauffenberg did it on Feb. 19, 2017.
- Lawton was one of four Valpo players with multiple hits in the opener. For the second consecutive game, Moeder delivered three hits out of the leadoff spot, going 3-for-4. Moeder’s pair of three-hit contests are the only three-hit games by any Valpo player this season.
- Moeder led off the second game with a single as well to extend her on-base streak to seven games. The freshman closed out the three-game series 7-for-11 at the plate.
- Barker entered Saturday’s first game with just three career hits, but increased that number by two-thirds with her effort at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a run scored and a double. She also drew a walk, reaching base three times.
- Matalin also had a pair of hits in the opener, while Anderson reached base in all four of her plate appearances, going 1-for-1 with three walks and two runs scored. For Anderson, it was her second three-walk game of the season.
- Meanwhile, in the circle, Knight earned her first collegiate victory, settling down after the first two innings to go a career-high six innings and throw 102 pitches. Edwards picked up her second save of the year with her work in the seventh inning.
- Edwards took the loss in the start in the nightcap, throwing the opening inning. Junior Emily Richardson (Oak Park, Ill./River Forest) went the rest of the way with a solid six innings, giving up just four hits and three runs while striking out five.
Valpo (15-23, 4-15 MVC) closes out its five-game homestand with a single game against Loyola on Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. The game can be heard live on WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso).