The Valpo softball team opened up weekend action at The Spring Games in Madeira Beach, Fla. on Friday with a pair of games. The Beacons fell to Siena in their opener, 8-4, and suffered a 6-1 defeat later in the afternoon versus FIU.
How It Happened – Siena
- Valpo started off strong offensively on Friday, plating a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Junior Kayla Skapyak (Macomb, Mich./Macomb) led off with a single and two batters later, fifth-year Taylor Herschbach (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) walked to put a pair of runners on for senior Lauren Kehlenbrink (Ballwin, Mo./Parkway South), who drove them both in with a double to give the Beacons a 2-0 lead.
- Siena answered with a pair of unearned runs in its half of the first, and the Saints took the lead for good with a run in the second. They added five more runs over the third and fourth frames to take an 8-2 lead.
- Valpo got a pair of runs back in the top of the sixth, as an infield single from junior Alexis Johnson (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) plated freshman Lexi Szostak (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park), and sophomore Kaiah Fenters (Speedway, Ind./Speedway) later scored on a wild pitch. But with the potential tying run in the on-deck circle, the Beacons were unable to trim any more runs from the deficit.
How It Happened – FIU
- It was a pitching duel to start things off against the Panthers, as the only baserunner in the first two and a half innings — a leadoff double in the top of the second for FIU — was erased at the plate as part of a double play.
- Valpo took the lead in the bottom of the third with a mini two-out rally. Freshman Kim Rodas (San Bernardino, Calif./Cajon) singled and moved up to third on an infield single by Skapyak and a subsequent FIU error. With runners on the corners, Skapyak took off and got in a rundown, allowing Rodas enough time to sprint home with the game’s first run.
- Senior Easton Seib (Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs South) faced just one batter over the minimum through the first four innings, but FIU struck for four runs — two of which were unearned — to go in front in the top of the fifth. The Panthers added single runs in the sixth and seventh innings for the final margin.
Inside the Games
- Kehlenbrink tallied three hits on the day to lead the Valpo offense, picking up two base knocks against Siena and one against FIU.
- Junior Regi Hecker (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Blue Springs South) reached base three times versus Siena with a hit and a pair of walks.
- Fenters reached base twice against Siena as well with a hit and a walk, while Szostak reached successfully in two of her three plate appearances over the two contests.
- Junior Caitlyn Kowalski (Temperance, Mich./Notre Dame Academy) was charged with the loss in the circle against Siena, despite the fact she allowed just one earned run and struck out four batters in 3.2 innings of work.
- Seib went six innings against FIU and took the loss.
- The Beacons had opportunities to add to their run total in the opener against the Saints, but went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base. On the flip side, versus FIU, Valpo had just one at-bat with a runner in scoring position and left just three runners on base.
Valpo (1-6) continues action from Madeira Beach with a pair of games on Saturday, facing Dartmouth at 10 a.m. CT and UT Martin immediately afterwards.