March 29, 2023123456789RHE
Purdue Fort Wayne100200111692
Win: Brinkerhoff (2-3) 4.021014
Loss: Seib (2-11) 4.153015
Rodas (VALPO) 512301
Acord (VALPO) 302100
Jenkins (PFW) 412100
Hollopeter (PFW) 322100
Countryman (PFW) 302100
Softball Falls in Walk-Off Fashion at Purdue Fort Wayne
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Softball Falls in Walk-Off Fashion at Purdue Fort Wayne
Regi Hecker at the plate Wednesday at Purdue Fort Wayne (Courtesy Purdue Fort Wayne Athletics)

The Valpo softball team entered the bottom of the seventh inning with the lead Wednesday afternoon at Purdue Fort Wayne, but the host Mastodons scored an unearned run to force extra innings and eventually downed the Beacons, 6-5 in nine innings. Freshman Kim Rodas (San Bernardino, Calif./Cajon) connected on her first collegiate home run in the fifth inning.

How It Happened

  • Valpo drew a pair of walks in the top of the first, but was unable to convert the runners into runs.
  • The Mastodons opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first.
  • Valpo responded immediately to tie the game at 1-1 in the second. Junior Kayla Skapyak (Macomb, Mich./Dakota) was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame, and junior Autumn Acord (LaGrange, Ohio/Keystone [Kent State]) followed with a bunt single. After a passed ball moved both runners up 60 feet, junior Regi Hecker (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Blue Springs South) delivered an RBI infield single which plated Skapyak.
  • Purdue Fort Wayne regained the lead with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth.
  • Again, the Beacons answered the Mastodons’ scoring in their next time at the plate. Hecker was hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the fifth and fifth-year Taylor Herschbach (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) worked a full-count walk to put two runners on. Two batters later, Rodas stepped up, fought her way back from an 0-2 count to 3-2 and drilled the eighth pitch of the at-bat over the left-field wall to put Valpo on top, 4-3.
  • Senior Easton Seib (Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs South) entered in relief in the bottom of the fifth and retired the side in order. She tallied a pair of strikeouts in a scoreless sixth inning as well.
  • The Mastodons took advantage of a Valpo error in the bottom of the seventh to score an unearned run with one out, tying the game at 4-4. With runners on second and third, Seib recorded a critical strikeout and then induced a grounder to third to send the game to extra innings.
  • Playing under international tiebreak rules, junior Alexis Johnson (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) was placed on second to start the top of the eighth and came around to score on an RBI single from Acord to give Valpo a 5-4 lead.
  • Purdue Fort Wayne again leveled the score with a two-out RBI infield single in its half of the eighth, and walked off on an infield single in the bottom of the ninth.

Inside the Game

  • Rodas’ home run came as part of a two-hit day for the freshman, who extended her on-base streak to seven consecutive games. The three RBIs also stand as her season best.
  • Acord notched her first multi-hit game in a Valpo uniform, going 2-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt.
  • Herschbach drew a pair of walks, giving her a team-best 11 free passes on the season. Hecker and Skapyak both reached base twice as well, each tallying a hit and getting hit by a pitch.
  • The Beacons left 11 runners on base and were just 3-for-17 on the day with runners in scoring position.
  • Junior Caitlin Kowalski (Temperance, Mich./Notre Dame Academy) tossed the first four innings before handing the ball off to Seib. Seib was charged with the loss despite giving up no earned runs in her 4.1 innings of work and striking out five.

Next Up

Valpo (3-22) is slated to host Missouri State in a three-game MVC series this weekend, starting on Friday. Keep an eye on and Valpo Athletics social media for schedule updates.