For the second straight game, the Valpo softball team grabbed a first-inning lead courtesy of the bat of senior Lauren Kehlenbrink (Ballwin, Mo./Parkway), but the Beacons were unable to make that stand up, as host Murray State came back to earn a 6-1 victory.
How It Happened
- The Beacons cracked the scoreboard in the top of the first for the second time this week. Junior Alexis Johnson (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) watched five straight pitches go by for a one-out walk, and Kehlenbrink followed with a liner to the opposite field. The Murray State right fielder made a diving attempt at it, but came up empty, and when the dust settled, Johnson had crossed the plate for a 1-0 lead and Kehlenbrink was standing on third with a triple.
- Junior Caitlin Kowalski (Temperance, Mich./Notre Dame Academy) pitched around a one-out single in the first to keep the Racers off the board, but Murray State took the lead on a two-run, two-out homer in the second.
- Valpo got the potential tying run into scoring position in the third, as Johnson reached second on a two-out error, but could not plate the run.
- After Kowalski tossed a perfect bottom of the third, freshman Kim Rodas (San Bernardino, Calif./Cajon) tallied a one-out infield single in the top of the fourth. But she was left stranded on first.
- Murray State broke the game open with a four-run fourth inning.
- Senior Easton Seib (Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs South) tossed a scoreless fifth, working through trouble after back-to-back singles to start off the frame, and then combined with freshman Lexi Szostak (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park) on a perfect sixth to keep the Racers from adding to their lead.
- Offensively, the Beacons went down in order in each of the final three innings.
Inside the Game
- Kehlenbrink picked up a run-scoring hit in her first at-bat for the second time this week, this one the first triple of her four-year career.
- The senior has 10 RBIs on the season and is just two shy of 50 career RBIs.
- Valpo was limited to just two hits on the afternoon.
- Kowalski took the loss in the circle, while Seib tossed 2.1 innings of relief and gave up just one run.
- The Beacons were errorless in the field, their first game with zero errors since March 15 at Illinois.
Valpo (4-26, 1-10 MVC) continues the three-game series with the Racers on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.