The Valpo softball team battled gamely against first-place UNI on Saturday afternoon in the MVC series finale at the Valpo Softball Complex and threatened to put runs on the board in numerous innings, but at the end of the day, a pair of solo home runs by the Panthers proved to be the difference as the Beacons fell by a 3-1 final.
How It Happened
- UNI took the lead on its first batter of the game, as Mya Dodge led off the top of the first with a solo homer.
- That was the only run Easton Seib (Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs South) surrendered through the first four innings, however. Seib kept the Panthers off the board after they had a runner on second and no outs in the third inning, and then tossed a perfect changeup for a strikeout looking with two runners on base in the fourth.
- Meanwhile, Valpo had plenty of early chances to crack its side of the scoreboard, but was unable to come up with the final blow through the first three frames.
- The Beacons had runners on first and third with one out in the first and a runner on second with two outs in the second, but were unable to score either time. Peyton Moeder (Shawnee, Kan./Mill Valley) then led off the bottom of the third with a double and moved up to third on a groundout, but couldn’t complete the journey as back-to-back grounders kept Valpo from pushing its first run across.
- A leadoff double and an infield single against a drawn-in infield gave the Panthers their second run in the top of the fifth.
- Valpo responded immediately in its half of the fifth. Addi Weaver (Shelbyville, Ind./Shelbyville) lined a first-pitch double to the right-center gap to lead off the frame, and pinch-runner Lauren Sena (McHenry, Ill./McHenry) moved up to third on a sacrifice bunt. Moeder brought her home immediately, dropping a single just inside the left-field line to make it a 2-1 ballgame.
- The Beacons again had an opportunity to tie the game or more, as Taylor Herschbach (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) followed Moeder’s base knock with a single of her own to put runners on the corners with one away. But a strikeout and a groundout limited them to just the single tally.
- UNI capped the scoring in the top of the sixth with a solo homer from Daryn Lamprecht.
- Valpo got the potential tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh following an infield single from Moeder before a fly ball to center ended the game.
Inside the Game
- Moeder reached base all four times she stepped to the plate on Saturday, going 3-for-3 with a double and a hit by pitch as well as her RBI. It was Moeder’s second three-hit game of the season and her second multi-hit game of the series against the conference leaders.
- Moeder is now hitting .372 and reaching base at a .449 clip in MVC play.
- Four other Beacons had a hit apiece as Valpo matched UNI’s team total with seven hits.
- Facing a UNI offense which entered Saturday’s game averaging better than seven and a half runs per game in MVC play, Seib enjoyed one of her best outings of the year. The junior twirled a complete-game seven hitter, allowing just three runs as she limited the Panthers to 1-of-8 hitting with runners in scoring position.
Valpo (10-24, 1-14 MVC) closes out its lengthy homestand on Wednesday afternoon with a conference doubleheader versus Loyola. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m., with the games being broadcast on ESPN+.