Valpo softball junior Lauren Kehlenbrink (Ballwin, Mo./Parkway South) became the program’s first player since 2012 to homer in three consecutive games, as she went deep in both ends of Sunday’s home doubleheader. The Beacons dropped both of Sunday’s games to visiting Bradley, falling by 10-6 and 4-3 finals.
How It Happened – Game One
- Bradley opened the scoring in its first turn at the plate with a two-run, two-out triple to take an early two-run lead.
- Valpo bounced back in its first at-bat with three runs to pull in front. Peyton Moeder (Shawnee, Kan./Mill Valley) led off with a single back through the middle, and moved over to third thanks to a stolen base and a wild pitch, putting herself in position to score on an RBI double from Taylor Herschbach (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township).
- Herschbach took advantage of a passed ball to move up to third base, allowing her to score on an RBI grounder by Ryan Milkowski (Olathe, Kan./Olathe West). Kehlenbrink then stepped up and drove the first pitch she saw off the scoreboard in left-center to give the Beacons a 3-2 lead and force an early pitching change for Bradley.
- Bradley tied the game in the top of the second with a single run and then pushed five across the plate in the third to pull out to an 8-3 lead.
- Valpo put together a two-out rally in the bottom of the fifth. Moeder started the rally by getting hit by a pitch, and Herschbach reached on a Bradley error. Milkowski then worked a full count before driving a pitch the other way to the wall in right, scoring both runners, and then proceeded to score herself on a line-drive double off the third baseman’s glove by Kehlenbrink, bringing the Beacons to within 8-6.
- That was as close as Valpo could get, however, as Bradley closed the scoring with a two-run homer in the top of the sixth.
How It Happened – Game Two
- Much like the first game, Valpo led after the initial frame of the nightcap, taking a 1-0 lead thanks to a two-out RBI single from Kate Beckemeyer (Forsyth, Ill./Maroa-Forsyth [Parkland]) which scored Herschbach.
- Valpo and pitcher Easton Seib (Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs South) kept the Braves off the board through the first three innings, thanks in large part to double plays in the second and third frames. Bradley tied the game in the fourth, leading off the inning with consecutive hits before a sacrifice fly evened things up.
- Both teams had a strong scoring chance in the fifth. Bradley got a leadoff double, but Seib and the Valpo defense kept that runner at second base. Then, in the bottom of the inning, Moeder singled with one out and stole second before moving to third on a groundout. Milkowski battled through a 13-pitch at-bat before flying out to end the frame.
- Three hits, a walk and a Valpo error allowed Bradley to push across three runs in the top of the sixth.
- Trailing by three, the Beacons got a run back right away in the bottom of the sixth as Kehlenbrink went yard again, this time going to the opposite field to make it a 4-2 game.
- Valpo had one more rally in it with the top of the order coming to the plate in the bottom of the seventh. Moeder drew a leadoff walk and scored to make it a one-run game as Herschbach drove a pitch off the base of the fence in center. But with the potential tying run on base, the Beacons hit into a double play to eliminate the baserunner as the Braves eventually closed out the one-run win.
Inside the Games
- Kehlenbrink tallied three extra-base hits and three RBIs during Sunday’s doubleheader, including home runs in each game on Sunday.
- Combined with her round-tripper on Saturday, Kehlenbrink had three home runs for the weekend after hitting just three total in the first 65 games of her collegiate career.
- Kehlenbrink became the first Valpo player since 2012 to homer in three consecutive games. Jessie Marinec was the last Valpo player to accomplish the feat, going deep in back-to-back games against New Mexico State and then at Arizona State in March of that season.
- Milkowski drove in three runs in the opener, the third time this season she has tallied three RBIs in a game.
- Moeder reached base twice in both games (two hits, walk, hit by pitch) and stole a base in both games as well to give her a team-best seven steals on the season.
- Herschbach scored a pair of runs in the opener, and then was one of two Beacons — along with Beckemeyer – to tally multiple hits in the nightcap.
- Valpo scored nine runs over Sunday’s two games after being limited to just five runs in its previous eight games.
- The one-run loss in the nightcap to the Braves was just the second one-run defeat for the Beacons this season (5-2).
- The Beacons turned three double plays in the nightcap – a traditional 6-3 groundball double play, an unassisted double play on a line drive to first, and a 2-3-6 double play on a sacrifice bunt where the runner attempted to take third.
- The three twin killings are tied for second-most in a single game in program history.
Valpo (9-18, 1-8 MVC) continues the long homestand next Saturday with a home doubleheader against Southern Illinois. First pitch is slated for noon.