It was a tale of two games for the Valpo softball team as the Beacons concluded the Hoosier Classic in Bloomington, Ind. on Saturday. Valpo woke up with bats on fire, tallying 11 hits in a 10-1 run-rule victory versus Western Illinois, but the Beacons were on the wrong end of a 9-0 game with host Indiana in their tournament finale.
How It Happened – Western Illinois
- Putting up a crooked number in your first turn at-bat is never a bad thing, and that is what Valpo did in the bottom of the first against the Leathernecks. After scoring just two runs against WIU in a 2-1 win on Friday, the Beacons pushed five across the plate in the first inning Saturday.
- Small ball was responsible for the first run. Peyton Moeder (Shawnee, Kan./Mill Valley) and Taylor Herschbach (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) led off the frame with consecutive infield singles. The duo then pulled off a double steal, with Moeder coming around to score on a throwing error by the WIU catcher.
- After back-to-back walks, a sacrifice fly by Regi Hecker (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Blue Springs South) plated Herschbach to make it 2-0. Two batters later, Taylor Tonoian (Saugus, Calif./Saugus) drove a two-run double to center, and Jaina Westphal (Waterford, Wis./Burlington) followed with an RBI double of her own to push the lead to 5-0.
- WIU scored a single run in the second, but did not get a runner past first base over the final three innings.
- Valpo put the game into run-rule territory with four more runs in the fifth inning. Moeder and Lauren Kehlenbrink (Ballwin, Mo./Parkway South) picked up back-to-back RBI singles early in the frame. Later in the inning, Hecker connected on a two-run single to hit the magic eight-run lead, and Addi Weaver (Shelbyville, Ind./Shelbyville) delivered some insurance with yet another RBI base knock.
How It Happened – Indiana
- Valpo was limited to just three hits offensively by the Hoosiers on Saturday after putting four runs on the board against IU on Friday. The Beacons were unable to get a runner past first base until the fifth inning.
- The Hoosiers opened the scoring with a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the first. They put six runs on the board in the third inning and capped the scoring with a solo homer in the fourth.
Inside the Games
- Valpo pounded out 11 hits in the run-rule win over WIU, including a 7-for-11 performance at the plate with runners in scoring position.
- Moeder, Weaver and Westphal all had multi-hit games against the Leathernecks.
- Kate Beckemeyer (Forsyth, Ill./Maroa-Forsyth [Parkland]) and Herschbach both scored a pair of runs in the win, while Hecker drove in a team-best three runs.
- Kayla Skapyak (Macomb, Mich./Dakota) picked up a base hit in both games, capping a weekend which saw her go 5-for-9 at the plate and steal three bases.
- Valpo stole four bases in the victory over Western Illinois and ended the weekend 9-for-10 in stolen base attempts.
- Madison Wathen (Floyds Knobs, Ind./Floyd Central) earned her second complete-game win of the year in the circle and improved to 3-0, allowing just four hits and one run over her five innings of work.
- Easton Seib (Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs South) started and was charged with the loss against Indiana, falling to 4-2.
Valpo (7-6) has one more weekend of action prior to the start of conference play, heading to Kentucky next weekend for the Bluegrass Classic, co-hosted by Louisville and Kentucky. The tournament opens for the Beacons on Friday afternoon with games against Central Michigan and Louisville.