The Valpo softball team continued its opening weekend of play Friday afternoon against Eastern Illinois at the DePaul Dome Tournament in Rosemont, Ill., falling to the Panthers by an 11-2 final.
How It Happened
- EIU cracked the scoreboard first in the top of the opening inning, but Valpo starter Caitlyn Kowalski (Temperance, Mich./Notre Dame Academy) limited the damage to just one run, stranding the bases loaded with a fly-out.
- Valpo tied the game in the bottom of the second with back-to-back two-out hits. Taylor Tonoian (Saugus, Calif./Saugus) connected on a double and came around to score on an RBI single from Lauren Kehlenbrink (Ballwin, Mo./Parkway South).
- The Panthers took the lead for good on a two-out grand slam in the top of the fourth.
- The Beacons immediately got one run back in their half of the fourth, stringing together three straight singles to plate a run as Regi Hecker (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Blue Springs South) drove in pinch-runner Alexis Johnson (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central).
- Valpo threatened to put up a crooked number of its own in that frame, loading the bases with nobody out to bring the potential go-ahead run to the plate, but was unable to add to its one run.
- EIU capped the scoring with a six-run top of the fifth inning.
Inside the Game
- Valpo totaled seven hits offensively on Friday, led by a 2-for-2 effort at the plate from Tonoian, who now has hits in each of her first three at-bats of the season.
- Hecker and Peyton Moeder (Shawnee, Kan./Mill Valley) each tallied a hit as well to extend their respective hitting streaks to three consecutive games to open the campaign.
- Johnson made her 2022 debut with her pinch-running appearance Friday, as 17 players have now appeared through the season’s first three games.
- The game matched up sisters batting third in the order for their respective teams, as Ryan Milwkoski (Olathe, Kan./Olathe West) hit third and played first base for Valpo, while sister Lindy — in her first season at EIU — caught and batted third for the Panthers.
Valpo (0-3) closes out the opening weekend of action on Saturday afternoon when it faces Western Michigan at 2:30 p.m. Live stats will be available via ValpoAthletics.com.