It was a rare Monday afternoon matinee at the Valpo Softball Complex, as the host Beacons fell to visiting Southern Illinois by a 12-2 final in the finale of the three-game MVC series.
How It Happened
- SIU loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first, but Valpo was able to limit the Salukis to just one run.
- SIU added three runs in the second to push its lead to 4-0.
- The Beacons got on the board in their half of the second. A pair of SIU errors put Taylor Tonoian (Saugus, Calif./Saugus) on third base with two outs, and the senior came home to score on a bunt single by classmate Jaina Westphal (Waterford, Wis./Burlington).
- The Salukis scored one in the third, and then plated a pair of back-to-back homers in the fourth. Cheyenne Nietz (Machesney Park, Ill./Harlem) entered after the second round-tripper and retired the next three batters, starting off an appearance where she tossed three shutout innings as she stranded the bases loaded in each of the next two frames.
- Valpo had an opportunity to cut into the lead in its half of the fourth, as base hits from Regi Hecker (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Blue Springs South) and Alexis Johnson (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) put two on base before a strikeout ended the threat.
- SIU plated five in the top of the seventh before Valpo capped the scoring with a run in the bottom of the inning. A walk and two singles loaded the bases with one out, and a fielder’s choice grounder from Taylor Herschbach (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) brought Addi Weaver (Shelbyville, Ind./Shelbyville) across the plate.
Inside the Game
- The matchup with the Salukis was the program’s first game on a Monday since playing a twinbill against Missouri State on April 1, 2019.
- Westphal picked up two of Valpo’s six base hits for her fifth multi-hit game of the year.
- Caitlin Kowalski (Temperance, Mich./Notre Dame Academy) started and was charged with the loss in the circle, striking out three.
- Nietz’s three shutout innings was her third scoreless appearance since the start of MVC play. She had the complete-game shutout of Indiana State in the first weekend of conference play, and also tossed a scoreless inning in the series finale against Bradley.
It’s a quick turnaround for Valpo (9-21, 1-11 MVC), as the Beacons step away from conference action Tuesday afternoon to welcome Purdue Fort Wayne to the Valpo Softball Complex. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.