March 02, 20241234567RHE
Win: Brianna Copeland (7-3) 1.200003
Loss: Wilming (1-2) 2.052200
Johnson (VALPO) 323000
Avery Parker (IU) 323100

March 02, 20241234567RHE
Bowling Green2100000331
Win: McDermott (3-5) 7.033113
Loss: TURNER (1-3) 6.085552
COLE (BGSU) 211000
Utendorf (VALPO) 202010
Softball Takes Down Bowling Green, Gives Hoosiers All They Can Handle
Saturday, March 2, 2024
Softball Takes Down Bowling Green, Gives Hoosiers All They Can Handle
Alexis Johnson went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and two stolen bases in the opener, and then drove in two runs in the Beacons' win over BGSU.

The Valpo softball team enjoyed a strong opening day at the Hoosier Classic in Bloomington, Ind. on Saturday. In their tournament opener, the Beacons were tied with host Indiana into the bottom of the sixth before the Hoosiers earned an 8-6 victory. Unfazed, Valpo bounced back immediately, taking down Bowling Green by a 5-3 final.

How It Happened - Indiana

  • The Beacons wasted no time getting things going against the hosts on Saturday afternoon. Senior Kayla Skapyak (Macomb, Mich./Dakota) led off the game with an infield single, and two batters later, sophomore Kim Rodas (San Bernardino, Calif./Cajon) launched a two-run homer to left to give Valpo a 2-0 lead.
  • Indiana scored two of its own in the bottom of the second to even the score, but Valpo reclaimed the lead in its next time at the plate. Senior Alexis Johnson (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) got on base with a one-out single, used her speed to get to third base and then came home when the Hoosier defense misplayed a squeeze bunt by Rodas.
  • The Hoosiers connected on a pair of two-run homers over the next two innings to lead 6-3 at the end of four complete.
  • Valpo wasn’t done battling its in-state rival, however, as the top of the fifth saw the Beacons tie things up yet again. Rodas delivered an RBI single, Johnson scored on a Hoosier error and senior Regi Hecker (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Blue Springs South) drove in a run with a bunt single to tie the game at 6-6.
  • After delivering an RBI in the top of the inning, Hecker helped keep the score tied in the bottom of the frame, throwing out an IU runner trying to score at the plate.
  • Valpo had a prime opportunity to take the lead in the top of the sixth, putting runners on second and third with one out. IU called upon All-American pitcher Brianna Copeland in relief, and while Rodas made sharp contact off her, it was tough-luck contact, as the hard one-hopper went right at the IU third baseman, who was able to tag the Beacons’ lead runner and turn the double play.
  • Indiana drove in a pair of runs with two outs in the bottom of the sixth to cap the scoring, as Valpo went down in order in its final time at the plate.

How It Happened – Bowling Green

  • The Falcons, batting as the visiting team, jumped on top with a two-run homer in the top of the first.
  • The Beacons had an immediate response, as Hecker connected on a two-run, two-out single in the bottom half of the opening inning to tie things up.
  • BGSU retook the lead in the top of the second, as a triple and a Valpo error allowed the Falcons to take a 3-2 lead.
  • Once again, Valpo’s response came right away in its next time at the plate. A trio of singles loaded the bases with nobody out, and Skapyak drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game. BGSU was able to turn two on the Beacons’ next batter, but sophomore Lyna Vasquez (Moreno Valley, Calif./Valley View) came across the plate to give the Beacons a 4-3 lead.
  • From there, freshman Sydney McDermott (Stout, Ohio/Portsmouth West) took care of business in the circle. McDermott retired the side in order in each of the next four innings, part of a stretch of 15 consecutive batters set down by the rookie
  • McDermott did almost all of that with just the one-run cushion, but Johnson gave her some insurance to work with thank to a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth, pushing Valpo’s lead to 5-3.
  • After retiring the first two batters in order in the seventh, McDermott surrendered her first baserunner since the second inning on a two-out single. But the freshman came right back, getting a fly ball to center to close out the complete-game win.

Inside the Games

  • The six runs Valpo scored against Indiana marked the program’s highest output against a Power Five foe since 12 years to the day, March 2, 2012 — a 16-7 win over Iowa State.
  • Rodas went 2-for-3 with a career-best four RBIs against the Hoosiers.
  • Rodas’ home run against IU was the second of her collegiate career.
  • Johnson was a perfect 3-for-3 with two runs scored in the opener, the first three-hit game of her career. She also stole a pair of bases in that contest as well.
  • Skapyak matched her career high by scoring a pair of runs against the Hoosiers.
  • Freshman Kayden Krug (Milford, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) reached base twice with a base hit and a walk against IU.
  • Freshman Anna Wilming (Columbus, Ohio/Olentangy Orange) took the loss in relief versus IU, throwing the final two innings.
  • Sophomore Kam Utendorf (Columbus Grove, Ohio/Columbus Grove [Black Hawk College]) reached base in all three of her plate appearances in the win over BGSU, going 2-for-2 with a walk and a stolen base.
  • Johnson and Hecker drove in a pair of runs apiece against the Falcons.
  • Vasquez crossed the plate twice in the same game for the first time in her collegiate career.
  • Coming off a pair of stellar starts last weekend, McDermott was strong in the circle yet again on Saturday, throwing a three-hitter and allowing just one earned run to improve to 3-5 on the season.

Next Up

Valpo (4-12) closes out the Hoosier Classic on Sunday with two more games against Saturday’s opponents. The Beacons start off at 10 a.m. CT against Bowling Green before closing action against Indiana at 12:30 p.m. CT. Both games can be seen live on BTN+.